Vin McGinn readily admits he was never the best athlete when he competed as a teenager at La Salle Academy. He doesn’t hide the fact his skills were subpar at best.
He learned that winning isn’t always a measure of success. He never earned All-State honors, but he was a proven leader who was named a five-time captain during his high school career.
“I was a very committed person who participated in sports,” said McGinn, now 42. “I tried to be the best athlete possible that I could, but despite my best efforts I didn’t have a lot of natural ability.”
What he did have was passion – a deep passion that has intensified throughout his career as he became both an educator and coach at his alma mater.
McGinn has put his heart and soul in every role he has held throughout his career, and will continue to do so as he prepares for his new position as La Salle’s Athletic Administrator.
Recently, after an extensive nationwide search, McGinn was selected to succeed La Salle’s longtime athletic administrator Ted Quigley, who will retire at the end of June.
“I couldn’t be happier for Vin,” said Quigley, 66. “He is very, very smart. His passion and institutional knowledge set him apart.”
McGinn graduated from La Salle in 1997 and went on to earn his undergraduate degree at Holy Cross and his master’s at Boston College. His career in education and entry into high school coaching actually started at La Salle’s arch rival, Bishop Hendricken.
“We really wanted him to come here,” said Quigley, “but there wasn’t a teaching job available. I wanted him to be my assistant, but he really wanted to teach.”
McGinn taught at Hendricken and served as an assistant track coach under one of the top coaches in the state, Jim Doyle, before returning home to La Salle.
Teaching and coaching at La Salle’s biggest rival may not have gone over too well in the McGinn family – a legacy family at La Salle. Four generations of McGinn’s have graduated from La Salle, including two hall of fame members. McGinn’s own grandfather taught at La Salle for 44 years.
Still, the youngest McGinn doesn’t regret his decision to begin his career as La Salle’s longtime rival.
“I learned a lot from Jim Doyle and the other coaches at Hendricken,” said McGinn. “Jim is such a wealth of knowledge and an amazing mentor.”
I’m very proud to forward today’s press release from @lasalleacadri announcing the appointment of Mr. Vincent McGinn III as La Salle’s new Athletic Administrator starting July 1st. Vin’s passion for La Salle make him a great choice. @RIIL_sports @riiaaa2018 @NIAAA9100 pic.twitter.com/lHyEmJPqba
— Ted Quigley (@TQLSASports) March 23, 2021
McGinn briefly wore Green and Gold apparel, but his heart still bled Maroon and White. After four years he headed “home” to La Salle and continued his coaching and teaching career there. He has never left.
“I took what I learned from Jim and implemented those lessons into the cross country and track programs at LaSalle. “I was able to get the athletes to buy into the program and we were able to achieve success,” said McGinn.
Fueled by McGinn’s passion and leadership, in 2014 La Salle won its first state indoor track championship in 43 years. The following year, McGinn helped the Rams win their first outdoor title in 37 years and was named the (2015) NFHS RI State Coach of the Year for Boys Track and Field.
Through the years, McGinn’s passion for the school has only intensified.
“I love La Salle Academy with my heart and soul,” said McGinn. “It has meant so much to my family “
McGinn even leads the 150 Anniversary Committee at La Salle. He has cherished his role as the Dean of Students for the last 16 years.
“I am the captain of the ship,” said McGinn. “I am the cruise director who organizes the activities for a particular class, and I am in charge of individual members of the crew and must discipline as well. Sometimes I make them walk the plank and other times I’m celebrating with them. My job is to make sure the ship – the class – gets to its destination – graduation.”
In his newest role, he will be serving as the captain of a ship that oversees 30 Division I varsity sports, the state’s highest division.
He’s prepared for the challenge, but knows he has big shoes to fill as Quigley departs.
“Huge shoes,’ said McGinn. “In the Late 70 through the 90s, despite efforts by great athletes and coaches, La Salle hadn’t had a lot of success. Ted came in and helped craft La Salle into a championship program reminiscent of where it was in the 50s.”
La Salle had been in a drought and hadn’t added much hardware to the school’s trophy case before Quigley became the school’s Athletic Director in 2000. Since he took over 21 years ago, the Rams have amassed 136 championships.
“Winning is great, but providing support and guidance for our student athletes is what is most important. Vinny will certainly provide that,” said Quigley.
“OverallI I want to continue the tradition of helping our student athletes to learn and grow and reach their potential,” said McGinn. “I will work tirelessly with our coaching staff to continue the culture of success for which La Salle’s athletic program is nationally known.”
McGinn will take over and will continue to face his most challenging opponent to date – the Coronavirus pandemic.
“What I’ve learned in the last year is you must be willing to adjust very, very quickly,” said McGinn. “You have to have plans in place and be prepared to change them, adjust on the fly and move forward.
“Ted has been fantastic and shares his knowledge showing me the ropes,” said McGinn “No better resource or help than Ted Quigley.“