Bill Quinter

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Bill Quinter

Born: October 2, 1939 (Takoma Park, Maryland)
Died: April, 2014 (West Kelowna, British Columbia)

Bill Quinter spent 34 years in the Canadian Football League as a player, coach and general manager. He spent another 11 seasons working for National Football League teams.

Born in Maryland, Quinter dreamed of playing for the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He attended Indiana University, where he was a tight end and defensive end for the Hoosiers from 1959-61.

ImageIn 1962, he played with the Redskins in preseason exhibition games only to be a late cut. He then signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

The 6-foot-2, 238-pound two-way player spent four seasons with the Rough Riders. He also worked as a teacher at Rideau High, where a fellow teacher was Russ Jackson, the Rough Riders’ Canadian quarterback. His final games were played against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a two-game, total points Eastern championship series lost by Ottawa in 1965.

Quinter worked as an assistant football coach at the University of Pittsburgh, mostly working as an advance scout for the Pitt Panthers. He was earlier an offensive line coach at Indiana State University.

He returned to Canada to be an assistant coach with the Toronto Argonauts. He joined the B.C. Lions in 1977 as an assistant under head coach Vic Rapp before being promoted to director of player personnel five years later. Quinter left Vancouver to become general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1985, a job he held two seasons before being fired.

He then became player personnel director with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After three seasons, he returned to the Lions as director of player personnel under general manager and head coach Bob O’Billovich, his former teammate in Ottawa. Quinter was fired by the Lions in 1995 after losing a power struggle with general manager Eric Tillman.

The Seattle Seahawks hired Quinter as a scout, who was promoted to be the NFL team’s professional scouting director after two years. The New Orleans Saints hired him as player personnel assistant in 2000.

As a youth, he worked at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. He changed the numbers on the score board during Senators baseball games and served hot dogs during Redskins football games.

In 1987, Quinter married the former Christine Ritchin, the mother of future British Columbia MLA Judi Tyabji. She predeceased her husband, dying in 2012, aged 66. He leaves two sons, four stepdaughters, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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