Gov. Quinn blasts Fenwick for firing brother as coach - Dallas News |

Quinn lashes out at Fenwick for firing brother as basketball coach

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the administration of his suburban Chicago high school has let down students and alumni by firing his brother, who was a longtime basketball coach.

Pat Quinn may be the governor of Illinois, but high school basketball fanatics would rank him far below his brother John Quinn, a member the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame who racked up 469 career wins.

Governor Quinn and his brothers didn't just graduate from Fenwick High School. They seem to believe that being a Friars alumni is almost a way of life, never more so than when the perennial Catholic League powerhouse is vying for an athletic championship. It was all the more bitter then that, after winning 7 Catholic League basketball championships in 28 years and 12 regional championships, John Quinn is once again just a classroom teacher. The Friars fired him as head coach.

"My high school has lost its soul. It's a devastating blow to my brother, John," Quinn said. "And I think the administration there has let down the students, the alumni and shame on them!"

Fenwick's athletic director declined to explain the school's decision, saying only that he thanked John Quinn for many years of dedication and praising him as "a valued member of the Fenwick faculty." Not good enough for the governor.

"My brother is a Golden Apple teacher. He won an award for teaching. He's been a teacher for 33 years at Fenwick High School. He's a Hall of Fame coach with 469 victories," Quinn said.

In an e-mail to Oak Park's neighborhood newspaper, John Quinn himself declared:

"I am very disappointed... but I am very proud of the record… compiled over the last 28 years. My current team… achieved an 18-9 record and won a regional championship… More importantly, they regularly made the academic honor roll."

"He is a coach who understands that the most important part of being a coach in a high school is to educate those who are under your command," Quinn said. "And he's a kind and gentle man who understands the importance of sportsmanship."

There are many stories about the Quinn family's intense devotion to Fenwick. The governor, who could probably get a free membership to any fancy health club, once told FOX 32's Mike Flannery that he preferred working out at Fenwick's gym and, on occasion, played basketball with other older gentlemen well past midnight. No word on how his brother's firing affects that.

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