King’s Spotlight: Thérèse Quigley recognized as woman of excellence
May 8, 2013
Thérèse Quigley, a King’s associate alumna and Director of Sports and Recreation Services at Western, was named a Woman of Excellence on May 7 at the YMCA Women of Excellence Awards at the London Convention Centre.
As this year’s recipient of the Sport, Fitness & Recreation Award, Quigley feels humbled and privileged to be recognized amongst some of the most accomplished Canadian women in athletics and recreation.
Quigley was inspired by the late NBA coach John Wooden as a source of inspiration for women in her field: "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
During her acceptance speech, Quigley shared Wooden’s words of wisdom and how she has been influenced by compassionate women like Fran Wigston Eberhard, the first recipient of the Sport, Fitness & Recreation Award at the Women of Excellence Gala in 1993. Eberhard was not only Quigley’s coach when she was a student-athlete at Western, but is also a long-time mentor and friend.
“The first time I heard Wooden’s quote, I immediately thought of Fran. Regardless if it’s someone that she knows or that she doesn’t know, or whether it’s a human or a stray animal, she stops to care for that individual,” says Quigley.
While Quigley has been inspired by many prestigious people in athletics and recreation who have guided her over the years, she has also been an exceptional role model to young women in interuniversity athletics today.
“I’m happy to be in this position where student-athletes can come to me and ask for advice,” says Quigley. “If younger women can look at me, and other recipients of this award, and feel inspired to pursue their dreams, then that’s all I can hope for.”
Quigley’s undergraduate studies first began at King’s, and she later transferred to main campus for the Physical Education program. A standout student-athlete and an all-Canadian volleyball player with the Mustangs, Quigley fondly remembers her time at King’s and the close-knit community within her classes.
Erin Lawson, the Executive Director of Development & Alumni Affairs at King’s congratulates Quigley for all she has accomplished.
“King’s is proud of the time that Thérèse spent here as a student, and the wonderful relationship we now share with her, as we support King’s student athletes,” says Lawson. “Thérèse’s career has underlined the value that she gives to the whole student. Her understanding and appreciation of King’s emphasizes all aspects of the student during their time with us and in preparation for a life of growth and development.”
After graduating from Western with an honors degree in Physical Education in 1975 and a Bachelor of Education in 1977, Quigley completed a Masters of Arts from the University of Alberta in Sport Management in 1984. A passionate advocate for athletic and academic excellence, Quigley formerly taught in London at Saunders Secondary School where she also coached Saunders’ volleyball programs.
In 1990, Quigley joined McMaster University and became the first female Director of Athletics and Recreation in Ontario. In 2009, Quigley was appointed as the Director of Sports and Recreation Services at Western where she continues to inspire and mentor young men and women.
Over the course of her career, Quigley has gained national recognition in her field. She is a three-time Ontario coach-of-the-year in university volleyball, the past chairperson of the board of Canada Basketball, and in 2012, she was inducted into the Kitch McPherson Hall of Fame by the Ontario University Basketball Coaches Association.
Quigley has been recognized with a Western Women’s Athletic Alumnae Award in 1993, Hamilton’s Woman of the Year in Sport, Health and Fitness in 1994, and she was selected for the International Athletic Director of the Year Award by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics in 2003. This past year, Quigley received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership in the field of sport.
Quigley has made such an impact on interuniversity sports and recreation that Canadian Interuniversity Sports named an award after her, presented annually to a CIS women’s volleyball player for leadership and citizenship.
“I’m honoured to be receiving this award in the community that gave me so many opportunities, supported me and created the foundation for my career and for my life,” says Quigley. “It is very special to me that I am accepting this award in my hometown.”