Gerry Quinlan is in his 19th season as head women’s rowing coach at Saint Joseph’s University and has developed the Hawks into one of the East’s most competitive programs. Including his tenure at Saint Joseph’s, Quinlan has amassed more than 25 years of collegiate head coaching experience.
Quinlan has kept the Hawks among the more competitive programs in the East. In the past eight years, Saint Joseph’s has earned 10 medals in the Atlantic 10 Championships, while winning the 2011 team title.
The Hawks returned to the medals stand at the Dad Vail Regatta in 2017, winning a bronze in the Varsity 8 for its first medal in that event since 2010. SJU’s Freshman 8 captured wins in all but one regatta last season, while winning gold for the first time ever in that event. It also marked the first time that Saint Joseph’s had won two Dad Vail medals in the same meet since 2011. The 2017 season ended on an even higher note as the Hawks made their second overall trip to the Henley Royal Regatta.
Last season’s success had been building for a few years as the Hawks finished third in the Atlantic 10 Championship team standings in both 2014 and 2015.
Saint Joseph’s medaled in three events at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championships, and at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the defending champion Second Varsity 8 earned a bronze medal for its third consecutive medal in the prestigious event. Additionally at the 2012 Dad Vails, Quinlan was presented with the Matthew Ledwith Coach’s Award, which is given to the outstanding coach from the previous year’s regatta.
Quinlan’s 2011 crew had one of the best seasons in school history, highlighted by two firsts for the program - a gold medal at the Dad Vail Regatta and the team title in the Atlantic 10 Championships. The Hawks’ Second Varsity 8 captured the program’s first Dad Vail gold medal and the Varsity 4 took home a silver, to help SJU finish second in the team standings. Saint Joseph’s won the Freshman 8 at the conference meet and earned top-three finishes in three other events to give the Hawks the league’s team crown for the first time ever.
In 2008 Quinlan's charges placed a then best-ever third as a team at the Atlantic 10 Championship. The Varsity 8 boat earned its first-ever medal at A-10s, placing second, while also taking first at the Jesuit Invitational and the Kelly Cup. The rest of the Hawks also dominated at the city-wide Kelly Cup races, taking first place in every contest.
Quinlan guided the Hawks to victory in the Varsity 8 at the 2006 Dad Vail Regatta while that crew earned the school's first-ever trip to the Henley Royal Regatta in England. The Hawks rowed to a silver-medal finish in the Dad Vail Varsity 8 in 2007 while the Freshman 8 took silver in 2008.
During his tenure the Hawks have won three gold medals, six silvers, and four bronze medals at the Dad Vail Regatta. SJU has finished second in the women's point trophy standings twice and combined with the Hawks' men's team to win the Dad Vail Overall Points Trophy in 2005, 2006 and 2010. Since his arrival at SJU in 1999, Quinlan has been one of the driving forces behind the growth of both the women's and men's rowing programs, nearly doubling participation during his tenure. Quinlan has been active in the development of the Robert M. Gillin, Jr. Boathouse, which opened in 2002, while maintaining alumni support and coordinating several local regattas, including the Jesuit Invitational Regatta.
Quinlan's résumé includes a six-year stint as the head coach of Northwestern University's men's and women's programs and a three-year stretch as the head women's coach at Notre Dame. His teams have won medals at the Dad Vail Regatta, the Champion International Collegiate Regatta and the Head of the Charles, and have competed in the Henley Royal Regatta and the Mexico City International Championships.
A 1991 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Quinlan spent his prep career rowing at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill, Pa. He and his wife Linda, a former Hawks' assistant coach, reside in Philadelphia with their daughters Maeve and Tess.