Everyone probably has a story about that person who defined their high school careers. But I’m not sure how many people can say that “that person” for them was the same for their parents, their uncles, and another entire generation of students to pass through the doors of their high school.
If they are, I’m glad that they’re as lucky as I was to have someone like Ed Driscoll.
Affectionately just known as “Mr. D.,” he was the wrestling and football coach in the ’70s and ’80s, Athletic Director, and Assistant Vice Principal, as well as the Anatomy/Physiology, Physical Education, and Driver’s Ed teacher. He wore many, many hats at Quigley, and he wore them all well.
He looked like a Marine, and to those who didn’t know him, may have been more than a little intimidating. (Of course, even to those who knew him, and knew that he was the kindest man imaginable, he could be intimidating – the idea of disappointing him, ever, was unimaginable.) But in spending four years at Quigley, even if I didn’t play football, or wrestle, I was able to be around him while he oversaw the sports he loved, and kept things running smoothly in the everyday operations of the school.
His door was always open, even when his desk was covered with work, and he could be spotted at the school on weekends, late in the evenings, and for every athletic event that took place in the building, “just in case.”
Why am I thankful for him? Because there is no better example of dedication and loyalty to, and passion for, something you loved than Mr. D. He made Quigley the kind of place you wanted to be. He made you want to do well at whatever you tried, and he was always willing to listen to a problem you might have had. He retired in 2006, after 37 years at the school, and from what I can tell, the atmosphere there is so different.
He’s just the kind of man you can’t help but be thankful you had – and have – in your life.