VERGENNES, Vt. (WCAX) For years at Vergennes Union High, basketball season presented the opportunity for one of the school's most colorful faculty members to patrol the sideline in his trademark Chuck Taylor's...he always wanted to be ready in case a pickup game broke out.
But that won't be the case this winter. Longtime school clinician and basketball coach Pete Quinn passed away unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 69.
Quinn won over 100 games first as the head coach of the Commodore girls, and the team claimed back to back D2 state titles in 2005 and 2006. He later took over the boys team and led them to over 100 wins including a perfect season and state title in 2013.
Quinn's memory was honored on Thursday night at Vergennes ahead of their season-opening matchup with BFA-Fairfax. Traditionally people observe a moment of silence for someone who has passed away, but that wasn't Quinn's style. Instead, the packed house brought a thunderous applause for the man who had come to personify the game in the town of Vergennes and across Addison County.
"He was our leader, you know. He was the zen master, really great with relationships," said Josh Carter, a 2009 graduate who played for Quinn and has taken the reins as head coach for this season. "He just really knew how to handle any conflicts and did great job validating people's feelings. He coached me when I was in high school so he was someone that I looked to for guidance throughout the years, and then coming back, just really being in his presence and getting to know how he would run a team was just so insightful to me. The Vergennes community, we're a basketball town and Pete was beloved here and I think we're just gonna rally around the team and support the boys the best we can this season and do our best to honor him in any way possible."
In fitting tribute to Quinn, the Commodores took down BFA-Fairfax 58-52 to open their 2018-19 campaign.