A fine student and a star athlete,
Quinn entered Holy Cross in September of 1924 having graduated from
Brooklyn College Prep the previous June. It did not take long for
him to prove to Holy Cross coach Bart Sullivan and others in
the track world that he was going to be heard from. For the next
several years he won many dashes for Holy Cross and was
instrumental in bringing great glory to the college and to its
As a senior in 1928, Quinn proved his superiority by setting new records in the New England area and equaling several then-existing world records. He won the Special-Invitation 60-yard dasy at the NYAC Games in February, issuing a time that matched the world's best for the year. He also won the New England Intercollegiate 100- and 200-yard dashes, while capturing first place in the IC4A 100-yard dash at Harvard Stadium. That summer, he equaled the 100-meter Olympic record in the tryouts for the 1928 Olympic team.
In 1928, while a senior, Quinn proved his superiority by setting new records in the New England area and equaling several then existing world records. He won the Special-Invitation 60-yard dash at the NYAC Games in February of that year, issuing a time that tied the world's best for 1928. He was also a member of the 440-yard relay team that was victorious in the British Empire Games in London.
To cap off an amazing career, Quinn joined three others to win the gold for the United States in the 400-meter relay at the Summer Games in Amsterdam in 1928. As of 2009, he remains the only track star in the program's history ever to win an Olympic gold medal.