By all accounts, Jim Quinn is enjoying life away from the basketball court. A year after stepping down from the head coaching job he had held for the previous quarter-century and packing up from the only place he has coached for the past four decades – Quinn was back in the Chaminade Activities and Athletic Center Thursday for the first night of the 2012 Haggerty Tournament.
His seat has changed though – a surprise in and of itself since he was usually to be found shoes pounding courtside, barking out calls of boxing out to the five players on the floor, not parked in the bleachers.
On the floor the old coach confided he was always nervous and sweaty “no matter how many years I did it” from the floor. “I’m nice and relaxed up there,” he said after the Flyer had a 67-23 blowout over Manhasset.
That job belongs to Bob Paul now, one of Quinn’s former assistant coaches, ironically enough also attended Quinn’s collegiate alma mater, Iona and was a Chaminade graduate himself.
Not that the old master doesn’t field the occasional telephone call from the current coaching staff, whether it be about one of the players, help crafting a play or just to say hello as they check in.
They treat him well here, a few former colleagues – players, too – say hello and chat him up before the match and at the half – even setting him and the Mrs. up at the school’s Meribah retreat house in Muttontown where, yes, it snowed on Christmas.
Back in Florida, Quinn’s pursuits now more follow a more leisurely path than that of his successor: making use of the pool and firing up the barbeque at their new Florida address in the Villages.
“It’s like the old homestead,” Mrs. Quinn said, adding that “I tried to get him into linedancing” to no avail.
After all those years, there are some things even Jim Quinn won’t do on the hardwood.