VUHS coach, leader Peter Quinn dies unexpectedly
WALTHAM — Highly respected school-based clinician and Vergennes Union High School basketball coach Peter Quinn died unexpectedly on Saturday morning of natural causes, stunning the VUHS and Vergennes community he had served for two decades and saddening the many who knew him statewide for his dedication to the welfare of teens and his love of basketball.
A native of Concord, Mass., and a 1971 graduate of Middlebury College, Quinn started his career in social work at the former Weeks School in Vergennes.
After obtaining a graduate degree in Boston, he served from the late 1970s through the 1990s as director of the Kingsland Bay School, which contracted with the state of Vermont to care for troubled adolescent girls who had been placed under the ward of the state. The school had a home first in Ferrisburgh and then expanded into Middlebury.
For the past two decades Quinn, a Waltham resident, worked for the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) as a school-based clinician at VUHS, helping students in need.
VUHS Principal Stephanie Taylor said in a Saturday email the school was working with CSAC to provide counseling for students and staff on Monday. Eight CSAC counselors were expected to be on hand at the school on Monday morning.
Taylor also spoke about Quinn.
“I can’t begin to describe what his death will mean to our community,” she wrote. “He was a dear man deeply connected and committed to the VUHS community and I’m heartbroken over his death.”
As a coach Quinn led both the Commodore girls’ and boys’ varsity teams to more than 100 wins. His girls’ team claimed Division II state championships in 2005 and 2006, and his 2013 boys’ team went 24-0 in winning the 2013 D-II title.
As a basketball player himself, Quinn’s teams in the Burlington, Middlebury, Bristol and Vergennes basketball leagues all won multiple championship, with the Burlington and Middlebury teams’ totals reaching double digits. His Burlington teams routinely competed successfully against recent graduates from the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College varsity squads.
The Independent plans to publish a fuller look at Quinn’s career and an obituary in Thursday’s edition.
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