Roller hockey coach rolls into his 23rd year

Roller hockey coach Keith Quigley speaks to his team after their first game of the 2019-2020 season against Sweetwater High School. This game took place
on Dec. 3 and ended with a 5-9 loss for BVH.

Jeadan Andre

Roller hockey coach Keith Quigley speaks to his team after their first game of the 2019-2020 season against Sweetwater High School. This game took place on Dec. 3 and ended with a 5-9 loss for BVH.

Efren Mendieta, Videographer

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Roller hockey coach Keith Quigley has experienced over two decades of the roller hockey team, with the  2019-2020 season being his 23rd season coaching at Bonita Vista High. Since Quigley is not a teacher at the school, many BVH students may not know who Quigley is and the influence he has had on the roller hockey team. Over the years Quigley has maintained an important level of passion for the roller hockey program.

“My experience [coaching] has been great. Obviously, I’ve been around [for] 20 years. I just always loved coaching and working with students. Both [assistant coach] Tony Rissi and I work with elementary kids, middle school [students] and high school [students] but I love coaching the [BVH] hockey program,” Quigley said.

Quigley emphasizes devotion to distinct aspects of coaching that each bring him pleasure. These aspects stem from witnessing growth among his players, whether that be from their hockey skills, mentality, positivity or their development as leaders in the team. Quigley values when his players step “out of the box” by speaking up and becoming more assertive. 

“If [my players] are growing in all different aspects that’s even more important. Do we want to go to the CIF playoffs? Heck yeah! Every year we want to, but if we don’t, and they’re growing, [then] as a coach what else can I ask for. I simply see it as if they get out there and give it their all what else can I ask for as a coach,” Quigley said.

Aside from advocating for a strong development of his players on a character-based level Quigley is a coach that understands the importance of developing his players’ skill and confidence in the rink. The team consists of 17 players with an obvious mainline of the team’s top four players. Instead of sending out his top players, Quigley stresses the importance of making sure the entire team plays rather than having them sit and watch. 

“[The athletes] need to play. If the game is two to one in the third period and we have five minutes left in the game, we’re putting out the top four who [are going to] win the game for us, but a lot of coaches just play their best players all the time, even if the score is 15 to zero,” Quigley said.

All of these values are incorporated into the team with the support of Rissi who has been working closely with Quigley at BVH for three years. Rissi explains that an important aspect among the two coaches is their dedication to the team.

“Every player that he had coached always remembers him and he has always had a positive impact on that person’s life. That’s the most important factor in coaching [or] mentoring young adults,” Rissi said.

According to Quigley’s players, an admirable trait of his is the manner in which he treats his players. Offensive player and senior Diego Nunes emphasizes that Quigley’s philosophy is not entirely focused on winning. Nunes believes this is the best part of being coached by Quigley.

“We like to do what he calls playing the ‘Baron Way,’ just playing with class and respect. Just trying your hardest, it’s all about effort. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if you can’t skate, as long as you put [in] effort, he’ll give you a chance,” Nunes said.

According to Nunes, his coach has a very impactful way of developing his players. Rather than building them based on skill or potential, he tends to focus on the players who are working the hardest. Nunes states that as the reason why Quigley’s coaching style inspires players to work hard. 

“When you’re with him you really feel like you want to do something and you want to get better. So it works out because he’s able to inspire the team to work hard and he likes working with hard-working players,” Nunes said.

Quigley sticks with the belief that losses should be analyzed and viewed for the positives that come from them. This is displayed in the type of message that he tells his players after losses or wins. According to Nunes, Quigley still attempts to instill a message in his players’ heads that regardless of the result, it’s all about playing the “Baron Way.” 

“Even if we lose 13 to zero, if we put our best foot forward and we show class and sportsmanship, that’s a win right there. We’ve lost games 13 to zero but then the next game we lost 12 to two. As long as we’re trying our hardest, [Quigley] is proud of our [overall] improvement and not just on how we do on each individual game,” Nunes said.