For Mike Quinn, it may not have been as exhilarating as his 70-yard touchdown run in the last minute to lead Lincoln football to a win at Boonville or receiving the Ace Edwards Award that year in 1976.
But recently being hired to be the Lincoln High School athletic director meant a lot to Quinn, who returns to live in Vincennes for the first time since 1982.
“It really is a thrill, and as I told (Superintendent) Greg Parsley and (Principal) Steve Combs, I’m grateful for them to hire me, to give me this opportunity,” Quinn said. “It has always been my dream to come back to Vincennes because I was raised here and went to Lincoln High School.
“Now the dream comes true, and I’m looking forward to be the face of the Alices.”
Quinn, 60, has nearly seven years of athletic director experience, five of it at his most recent stop at Madisonville (Ky.) North Hopkins High School.
The 1977 Lincoln graduate has filled a lot of positions since his first job as teacher at Wood Memorial in 1982. Quinn has taught at North Daviess, West Washington, Corydon, Paoli, and was the football coach at North Daviess and West Washington. He’s also been an official in basketball, football and baseball, having officiated in the State Finals in both boys and girls basketball.
It wasn’t Quinn’s plan coming out of high school. He wanted to be an X-ray technician and after a year’s wait, he entered the program at Good Samaritan Hospital.
“I decided that it wasn’t made for me,” Quinn said.
His childhood in Vincennes led him to the profession he eventually followed.
“I come from a large family, five sisters and two brothers, so I was always helping them,” Quinn said. “When I got into high school, I helped coach YMCA basketball for third-through-sixth graders. I umped at Cub League in the summer.”
As a multi-year letter winner in football and baseball, Quinn noted he also received good guidance from his coaches Ray Mills and Randy Frederick. He also got some wisdom from his freshman basketball coach, Steve Brett, and varsity basketball coach Orlando “Gunner” Wyman.
“I went into teaching and coaching because it meant a lot to me, especially the coaching aspect of it. Athletics played a big part in my life, and the commitment and the organization I learned from playing sports were reasons why I chose that profession.”
“I knew, though, I didn’t want to coach all my life. But I still wanted to be involved in athletics and that’s why I became an athletic director.”
Quinn has recently taken over the job from Jeff Hein, who left after the school year to become the basketball coach at Bedford North Lawrence. While school doesn’t start until August, Quinn said he’s in the Lincoln office three to four times a week to get ready for the 2019-20 school year.
“I need to get familiar with everything around here. I need to make sure our athletes have their physicals in, see if any officials still need to be hired for the fall sports,” Quinn said. “I haven’t met with the coaches yet, and we need to set that up, see if they need anything.”
His wife of nearly 36 years, Jill, is still in Madisonville, but the pair and their youngest daughter, Amy, plan to make the move to Vincennes before class is in session. Meanwhile, Quinn has stayed with his mom, Pat Quinn, who lives in Vincennes after retiring as a 39-year librarian at Washington Elementary School.
Three of his sisters also still live in Vincennes, Laura, Terri and Mary Kay.
It’s a homecoming in more ways than one for Quinn.
“All those years that we’ve had homecoming, I’ve always tried to make it back, either for the (parade) on Friday, or when our class got together for the reunion over the weekend,” Quinn said. “Now I’m guaranteed to be there.
“It’s like that song at the Indy 500, ‘Back Home Again in Indiana.’ Not only am I coming back, but I have a chance to come back to my hometown,” he said. “It’s kind of like completing the full circle, finishing my career as an AD at the high school I attended. I’m excited.”