Coach Howard Quigley spent three decades as a baseball coach, winning 458 games and a state championship at Billings. He was head coach at Republic for 19 seasons, winning 222 games as a Tiger. He had already been inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2013, and now he’s received an even bigger honor: induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Quigley was inducted Thursday at the Hall of Fame’s Baseball and Softball Luncheon.
It was a way of growing up for me. We just grew up playing baseball (and) working hard,” Quigley said. “I had three brothers. I remember one high school baseball game, I was catching, my brother Robert was pitching, my brother Dennis was at shortstop, and my brother Gaylerd was playing center field… It’s just what we did growing up.”
Despite all the wins during his 30-year career, Quigley said the best part of his time as a coach was watching the success of his players.
“The most rewarding thing as a coach is watching players develop and then go to play college baseball – or not play college baseball – but knowing that you were responsible for some work ethic in their life, and you help them develop as a person,” he said.
And even though Quigley is no longer directly involved in high school baseball as a coach, he still values the relationships he’s built with former players over the years.
“If I’m out cutting my grass, they stop by and I have to stop and talk to them for ten minutes. It’s really neat to have the influence on people and watch them grow, and then they come back and see you,” he said.
Quigley does maintain a small role as a coach by giving individual catching lessons to some players. “Working with players and watching them grow as athletes and people, it’s been a very rewarding profession for me.”
Quigley was inducted into the Missouri Hall along with former Cardinals pitchers Andy and Alan Benes and the Mansfield High School baseball program.