Seton Hill hires women's lacrosse coach to replace late Quigley
On March 16, Courtney Tamasitis lost a good friend in Kristina Quigley, who was killed in a bus crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Carlisle. Now, Tamasitis wants to carry on her friend's legacy.
Tamasitis was named on Tuesday as coach of the Seton Hill University women's lacrosse team, which canceled its season after 30-year-old Quigley, her unborn child and the driver of the bus were killed while the team was on its way to a game at Millersville.
It is Tamasitis' second stint as Seton Hill's coach. She preceded Quigley from 2008-11 before leaving for an assistant's job at Marquette.
The two were teammates during their playing days at Duquesne.
“I was a very good friend of Kristie's,” Tamasitis said. “People thought we looked alike, and that was one of the things that brought us so close together.”
They both loved the game of lacrosse.
“We really connected,” Tamasitis said. “Coming back here is a huge thing for me and I want to honor her because of what she was — a great head coach.”
Tamasitis spent two seasons at Marquette, joining the program at its inception. She was in Los Angeles for a game against USC when she heard of the Seton Hill tragedy.
“We were on spring break and I had just gotten done working out,” she said. “I was in the shower, and when I got out, my phone had, like, 10 text messages on it. One of my older players (from Seton Hill) texted, ‘Call me, call me, call me. Something happened at Seton Hill.' I didn't know what was going on. But she kept me in the loop.”
Eventually, Tamasitis learned the details of that fateful Saturday morning when the bus driven by Anthony Guaetta of Johnstown inexplicably veered from the road and hit a tree.
“She loved the game,” Tamasitis said. “She was so passionate about the game.”
Tamasitis, who is in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Western Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be married in June. She said it is a busy time but that she has begun the process of recruiting, an aspect that she highly values.
“Recruiting is huge,” she said. “If you get kids that have the right mentality, that's half the battle. Kristie already had established what we are going to try to do in the PSAC. I think we're in a good situation right now.”
Just four of the 18 players on Seton Hill's 2013 roster are seniors. The Griffins, who will join the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 2013-14, had a 3-1 record before the school canceled the team's remaining 13 games.