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Women's lacrosse coach's passion inspired Seton Hill campus

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By Joe Napsha and Amanda Dolasinski
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

Kristina Quigley was passionate about coaching, about life, and most importantly about her family — her husband, Glenn; her young son, Gavin; and her unborn baby boy, colleagues said.

Quigley, 30, head coach of the Seton Hill University women's lacrosse team, and her unborn son died on Saturday in a bus crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Carlisle as she traveled with her team to a match with Millersville University in Lancaster County. The driver of the bus also died.

Quigley of Greensburg, who was six months pregnant, was “highly visible” on the Greensburg campus, said Seton Hill University President JoAnne Boyle. News of her death stunned student athletes, fellow coaches and administrators.

“She was a very nice person. She was very dedicated to her team. She was a top-flight professional,” said Tony Morocco, the university's basketball coach for nine years.

The coaching community at Seton Hill is a small and close-knit group, Morocco said, and he knew Quigley from attending meetings with fellow coaches.

Quigley had just started her second season with Seton Hill's lacrosse program, which has a 3-1 record. She led the Griffins to an 11-6 record in her first season.

Sunday's home lacrosse game with Grand Valley State has been canceled, the school said.

A Baltimore-area native, Quigley came to Seton Hill from Erskine College in Due West, S.C. Mark Peeler, Erskine's athletic director, hired Quigley in 2009 to start the lacrosse program at the small Christian school about 140 miles outside Atlanta.

“She was just out of Duquesne, and I felt like she was a real go-getter,” Peeler said.

“She just really impressed me. She was really enthusiastic, well-organized. She said this is what Erskine lacrosse was going to look like,” Peeler said.

Quigley became frustrated — the team went 0-11 in its first year — and saw the opportunity to be closer to home when the job at Seton Hill opened, Peeler said.

“Her death breaks our heart,” Peeler said. “I feel for her family.”

Quigley was assistant volunteer lacrosse coach in 2007 at Duquesne University, where she played lacrosse in 2002-03.

“She was an absolutely wonderful lady. She was very passionate about life and coaching. She was most passionate about her family,” said Mike Scerbo, Duquesne's women's lacrosse coach who hired Quigley.

She had played at Duquesne before Scerbo started coaching at the school.

Quigley was a skilled athlete at Dundalk High School in the Baltimore area, where she was named women's athlete of the year her senior year and was inducted into the high school's hall of fame, said Kirk Crowe of Dundalk, Md., a high school boyfriend of Quigley's.

“I immediately thought back to the time I spent with her,” said Crowe, a football player who briefly dated Quigley their senior year. He said they remained friends through their passion for sports.

“Kristie was always so driven and so positive,” Crowe said.

Crowe remembers being proud to accompany her to the school's homecoming dance and getting to know her brother and parents through the school's football program.

“It's a sad, sad day,” he said. “I can't imagine what they're going through,” Crowe said.

Quigley, her unborn child, the bus driver, the students and their families will be remembered at Mass at 7 p.m. Sunday in Seton Hill's St. Joseph Chapel.

Joe Napsha and Amanda Dolasinski are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Napsha can be reached at 724-836-5252 or Dolasinski can be reached at 724-836-6220. Staff writers Adam Brandolph and Brad Bumsted contributed to this report.

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