USF Athletic Director Dave Laketa with new head women's basketball coach Samantha Quigley
Her mother, Chris, and her late father, Pat, both left their marks in the athletic arena at then-College of St. Francis. Both were St. Francis hall of fame selections – Class of 1991 and 1993, respectively – with Chris’ No. 22 basketball jersey being retired in 1983 and the basketball court named after Pat by two of his former teammates, Ron Kenny and Mike Brennan, in 2004.
Now, it is Samantha Quigley’s turn to make her mark on Pat Quigley Court in the same arena where her mother’s retired number hangs from the rafters. University of St. Francis director of athletics Dave Laketa announced on Thursday that the former two-time all-BIG EAST basketball selection at DePaul University has been named to serve as the 12th head coach in the 36-year history of the USF women’s basketball program.
“I tried to get Samantha here two years ago instead of playing her senior year at DePaul whenever she called me to see if she could work out in our gym during the summer of 2010,” joked Laketa. “It just took me a little bit longer than I expected to get her where she belonged.”
Quigley, 24, grew up just six blocks from the school where her father was an all-conference selection in basketball and also played tennis before graduating in 1981 and her mother, the former Chris Prieboy, was a three-sport standout in softball, basketball and tennis before earning her bachelor’s degree in 1983. Chris still holds the career basketball marks in both scoring (2,377 points) and field goals made (1,054) as well as the single-season records in the same two categories. She also ranks among the top USF softball players in no fewer than four season and career categories highlighted by her .406 career batting average.
“USF has been a second home to me since coming here for (former head men’s basketball coach and athletic director Pat Sullivan) Sully’s camps when I was young,” said Quigley. “I am very excited for this opportunity and I cannot wait for the upcoming season.”
Quigley turned in quite the career both on and off the court at DePaul after following in her older sister Allie’s footsteps by joining the Blue Demons’ program back in 2006. Samantha Quigley closed out a career in which she totaled 1,273 points (16th all-time on the Blue Demons’ scoring list) and 484 assists (second all-time) by being named a State Farm WBCA honorable mention All-American her senior year. She also was a finalist for the prestigious Nancy Lieberman Award twice (2009-10 and 2010-11) and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in 2010-11.
Besides her two-time selection on the all-BIG EAST second team, Quigley’s other on-court accolades included the 2010-11 BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award and preseason all-BIG EAST honorable mention plaudits heading into her senior campaign.
She excelled in the classroom, as well, as a three-time selection of the BIG EAST All-Academic Team, a I-AAA Scholar Athlete Team choice and a second-team Capital One Academic All-District Five pick.
Quigley also served as the vice president of DePaul’s Captains’ Council in 2009-10 and one year later was chosen as that group’s president.
“When talking to Samantha’s former head coach at DePaul, Doug Bruno, he classified her as a ‘future female coaching star in the making’ and that she was ready to become a head coach,” continued Laketa. “He couldn’t speak higher of her as a person and couldn’t stop talking about her work ethic.
“Doug said she watched as much film as the coaches and was a coach on the floor for five years. He even went as far as saying that Samantha was doing more coaching than he was at times.
“Those are the exact things that our search committee saw during the thorough process of selecting our next head coach.”
Quigley served as an assistant coach at St. Francis under interim head coach Brian Michalak this past year, where the Saints went 17-14 with three upset victories of ranked teams in NAIA II No. 9 Bethel College (Ind.), NAIA I No. 14 Saint Xavier University and NAIA I No. 21 Robert Morris University.
Her first coaching assignment came three years earlier, in 2007-08, when she missed her entire sophomore season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee and assisted Bruno on the Blue Demons bench.
“Having been with the program this past season as an assistant coach, I have become familiar with the university, the athletic department and the current team,” continued Quigley. “I have also grown to love the competitiveness and level of play of NAIA basketball. I was unfamiliar with NAIA basketball until this past year, but came away seeing how high a caliber it is and knowing that we can compete not only at the highest level in the NAIA, but against top NCAA II programs, as well.”
Following her mother’s lead, Samantha excelled in three sports – basketball, volleyball and softball – at Joliet Catholic Academy and was recognized as the Chicago Sun-Times Female Athlete of the Year in 2006 after starting all four years in each of the three sports. In basketball, she totaled 1,910 points and was a Parade All-American as well as a McDonald’s All-American nominee. Quigley also was a two-time first-team all-state selection by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, a three-time All-East Suburban Catholic Conference choice and the 2006 Player of the Year of both the Daily Southtown and the Joliet Herald News after averaging 21 points, four rebounds and both three steals and three assists per game.
In softball, Quigley was an all-area performer, while in volleyball she garnered all-state recognition and was a part of JCA’s Class 2A state volleyball championship team as a sophomore.
“My goal is to lead,” added Quigley. “I want our women’s basketball players to excel not only on the court, but, more importantly, in the classroom. And, I want them to have fun doing it. That is what it is all about, becoming the best you can be and having fun while doing it.”
Quigley, who is single and resides in Joliet, graduated from DePaul in 2010 earning a degree in Physical Education with a health endorsement. She is currently working on a Masters in Educational Leadership.
“I stated back in September when we did the search the first time that one of the top goals of our athletics program has always been to find the best coaches possible that will serve our University and student-athletes well for years to come and that we wouldn’t settle for anything less,” closed Laketa. “That was the task of the search committee when we regrouped in March. We needed to find the person that would provide stability to a program that really needed it and today, to take the words from Doug Bruno, I believe, and the committee believes, that we have found that future female coaching star in Samantha Quigley.”