Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:37

Quigley, Dundalk High alumna turned college coach, dies in Pennsylvania bus crash on Saturday

by Bill Gates

Dundalk High School tech teacher Thomas Pless was watching the NBC Nightly News on Saturday and was stunned when he recognized the face of a college women’s lacrosse coach killed in a traffic accident.
    It was Seton Hill University coach Kristina Quigley, a 2001 graduate of Dundalk High and a former student of Pless.
    “I didn’t realize who it was,” said Pless, who knew her as Christie Trionfo at Dundalk High. “Then they put a picture of her on the screen, and I thought ‘I know her ....’”
    Quigley, 30, was pronounced dead after being flown to a hospital on Saturday morning in the wake of a bus crash while she and her team were traveling to a game at Millersville.
    She was pregnant, and doctors were unable to save her unborn child.
    News reports have described Quigley as six months pregnant, but friends in Dundalk say she was closer to eight months.
    Quigley’s 30th birthday was Feb. 24, and friends say she posted a photo on her Facebook page describing herself as 30 and seven months pregnant.
    She leaves behind her husband, Glenn, and four-year-old son Gavin.
    The news of Quigley’s death spread quickly among the Dundalk High alumni community on Saturday through social media.
    Jillian Albanese and Theresa “Bumpy” Muir, members of the Class of 2002, spent the rest of Saturday crying and leafing through scrapbooks.
    “Kristie was someone I looked up to,” Albanese said. “Someone I respected and always strived to be like.
    “She was an amazing teammate and even better friend. I am blessed to have had the time I did with her.”
    It is not yet known what caused the bus carrying the Seton Hill University women’s lacrosse team to run off the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Harrisburg around 9 a.m. on Saturday and crash into a tree.
    The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, died in the crash. The other passengers, members of the team and coaches, suffered a variety of non-life-threatening injuries.
    “It’s been difficult,” Pless said. “She was a bright girl who went out of her way to do whatever she needed to do to succeed. This is a great loss. It gets to you.”
    Pless also taught Kristina’s older brother, Tony. A younger brother, Nick, graduated from Dundalk in 2003.
    Her parents are Patricia and Sabitino “Sobby” Trionfo.
    While at Dundalk High, Quigley was named The Dundalk Eagle’s Spring Athlete of the Season as a sophomore, junior and senior.
    She is one of only three students to be a three-time Eagle Athlete of the Season.
    She finished her Owl girls’ lacrosse career with 216 goals and 98 assists.
    Quigley was named to the Baltimore County All-Division II team three years in a row, and was twice honored as the Baltimore County girls lacrosse Division II/III Player of the Year.
    She was selected to the All-Baltimore County team as a senior. Prior to that year, coaches were reluctant to include any players from Division II or III on the all-county team.
    “Kristie had such a passion for the game of lacrosse and she had the innate ability to see things develop on the field,” said Danielle Grzebien, her coach at Dundalk High.
    “She was an unselfish player who wanted to get her teammates involved and enjoyed assisting on goals more than anything else. Kristie was a very genuine and giving person who was always willing to take the time to help someone in need.”
    Quigley attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh on a lacrosse and academic scholarship after graduation.
    She worked as an assistant lacrosse coach at Duquesne after graduation before moving to South Carolina and starting a women’s lacrosse program at Erskine College in 2009.
    She took the head coach ing position at Seton Hill in 2011, and led the team to an 11-6 record last season — only the second winning season in school history.
    The Griffins were off to a 3-1 start this season.
    Jason Bellamy, the former boys lacrosse coach at Dundalk High and currently the athletic director and boys lacrosse coach at Patterson Mill High in Bel Air, worked with Quigley in lacrosse camps and visited her and Glenn in South Carolina.
    “You could see the sparkle in her eyes, working with kids,” Bellamy said. “She had the passion. All the relationships with kids, the interaction, she was so good at it.
    “Everything in her life circled around family. Her family was her world. She inspired me to do better as a coach whenever I was around her. She was an incredible woman.”
    Thomas Raybon graduated from Dundalk High in 2002 and played football with Kristina’s brother, Nick.
    “I am still in shock over the news,” Raybon said. It’s devastating news for her family and the Dundalk Owl family.
    “Kristie was one of the more sucessful alums from Dundalk. It is heartbreaking, and all we can do at this time is give our thoughts and prayers to her family.”
    A scholarship fund for Kristina’s son, Gavin, had raised $34,700 as of Tuesday afternoon.
    Dundalk High girls lacrosse coach Kelly Marinelli plans to retire Kristina’s #1 jersey and is seeking Baltimore County permission to put her initials on the team’s uniforms this season.
    There will be a viewing for Kristina and her unborn son, Jackson, on Wednesday and Thursday at the Connelly Funeral Home on 300 Mace Avenue.
    The times for the viewing are from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.
    A funeral mass will be held on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, with interment at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery.
    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gavin’s scholarship fund at gofundme.com/2bt9g4.