It has been nearly three decades since Dan Quigley worked in athletics in Harrisonburg.
But his death earlier this month in Pennsylvania resonated with several coaches and former athletes in the Shenandoah Valley.
Quigley, who was 58, did graduate work at James Madison University and then was an athletic trainer at Harrisonburg High in the 1980s, according to former Eastern Mennonite University men’s basketball coach Tom Baker. Quigley also taught physical education at Thomas Harrison Middle School.
Baker first met Quigley while working at the Ralph Sampson Basketball Camps at EMU in the late 1980s.
“I ran the gymnasium at EMHS and he was my athletic trainer,” said Baker, who also coached basketball at EMHS. “After that, I got to know him; by chance we lived across from each other in the same apartment complex.” Baker and Quigley each served as best man at their respective weddings.
Among just some of the athletes Quigley worked with at HHS were Chris Hart, Whit Babcock, Donald Burgess, Jr., Stephanie Howard, and Jeff Leatherman.
Howard was a basketball standout at Radford and overseas, Leatherman played baseball at Auburn, and Hart played baseball at Auburn and in the minors for Oakland. Burgess also played at Radford and is the current boys basketball coach, and Babcock is the athletic director at Virginia Tech after playing baseball at JMU.
“He just seemed like a reliable person to go to,” Leatherman, who graduated in 1987, said of Quigley. “Of course, if you were injured, but about life in general. He seemed like he was at our level. He had just graduated from college. He was at most practices for basketball and at football games.”
Among the HHS coaches Quigley worked with included Roger Bergey, Tim Sarver, Tim Meyers, J.J. Updike, and Jack Hale. Bergey led HHS to two state titles in basketball and is in the HHS and Virginia School High School League Hall of Fames.
After leaving the Valley, Philadelphia native Quigley was a nationally-noted athletic trainer at Manheim Township High in Lancaster County, Pa. He was credited with saving the life of an assistant basketball coach who collapsed during a practice about five years ago, according to lancasteronline.com.
Manheim Township — like HHS — has Blue Streaks as its nickname for athletics. Baker is from Elizabethtown, Pa., and would look up Quigley on trips back home.
Another person with local connections that passed away this month was Charles Phillips, 73, a native of New Market and a former basketball player at Stonewall Jackson. He died on May 14 at Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax after suffering a heart attack.
According to his obituary, he was a baseball coach in the West Springfield Little League for 41 years. For years, that youth program was a solid feeder program for West Springfield High — a top program in Northern Virginia. Joe Saunders played at West Springfield High, pitched at Virginia Tech, and ended his Major League career with Baltimore in 2014.
Phillips, who had been living in Burke, coached 25 all-star teams and won nine district titles. Phillips was a graduate of what is now JMU.
Fort Defiance graduate Quin Houff was 26th on Wednesday night at the NASCAR event in Darlington, South Carolina. The rain-shortened race was won by Denny Hamlin. Houff started in the 35th spot.
Bridgewater senior Dwyer Neal led the Eagles in several categories the past two seasons in women’s lacrosse. She had 15 goals and 16 points this past season for the Eagles.
“I believe that it evolved from my leadership skills developing from freshman to senior year,” said Neal on the school athletic website of the bigger two-way role she took on as time passed. “I wanted to take on a bigger role on the field, which meant playing midfield and learning our zone defense.”
According to BC, the business administration major will work in the nation’s capital for Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence.
EMU senior Trevor Oyer was second earlier this month in the College Disc Golf Hek Yeh Putter Party in North Carolina. EMU was one of just three Division III schools in the event; a golfer from North Carolina State won.
“College Disc Golf reached out to us teams to see if we were interested in doing this competition,” Oyer said on the EMU athletic website. “Our EMU team seemed pretty indifferent and did not initially jump on board. It wasn’t until a text from one of the College Disc Golf directors saying they needed a couple more teams that we decided to join. I asked our team if any of them wanted to be our representative. None of them wanted to and so by process of elimination, I was selected to represent EMU.”
Virginia baseball Coach Brian O’Connor, who played for the Harrisonburg Turks in 1990, is hopeful he will have a normal fall season.
“I believe we will be on the baseball field,” he told the News-Record this week. “I chose to have hope; that is just my gut feeling. We are making our plans to be on the field and practice in the fall.”
Tom Walter, a teammate on that 1990 team, is now the head coach at Wake Forest. He told the DN-R that half of the athletic budget comes from football at his school.