Quincy St. Mary / Notre Dame H.S.

The History of Quincy St. Mary Institute & Notre Dame High School

Quincy (population 40,366) is located in far west-central Illinois in the west-central portion of Adams County.  Interstate Highway 172 will lead you to and from Quincy via Interstate Highway 72 which runs just south of Quincy.  U.S. Route 24 also leads you to Quincy along with Illinois Routes 57, 96, and 336.  The western most border of Quincy is the Mississippi River with Missouri just a short boat ride across the way.  Quincy Bay is another water mark in western Quincy.  The Burlington Northern Railroad passes through town as well.

A nice history of the town can be viewed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy,_Illinois .  In summary, the article states that Quincy was originally settled by caucasian Americans in the very early 1800s.  It was named the county seat of Adams County in 1825, a title it continues to hold today.  Quincy’s location along the Mississippi River made it an important stopping place for steam boats and travelers in the middle to late 1800s.

The history of Quincy’s parochial schools is also a very storied and early development.  The web page address of http://www.quincynotredame.org/info/school/history.html provides the following information about Quincy St. Mary Institute and Notre Dame high schools:

St. Mary Institute was established in 1873 and offered a two-year course of high school studies. In 1890 a third year of high school was added.  A fourth year of high school was added in 1894.  In 1910 the name of the school was changed to St. Mary Academy. This arangement would continue for the next 18 years.

In 1928 the name of the school was changed to Notre Dame of Quincy.  It remained an all girls school until 1940.  It was this year that Quincy College Academy for boys closed and the boys began attending Notre Dame of Quincy.

In 1959 Notre Dame returned to an all girls school when Quincy Christian Brothers High School opened.  Notre Dame High School remained an all girls school until 1975 when it was decided to merge Notre Dame and Christian Brotghers high schools.  The merger took place in 1976 with the official title of the now co-educational school called Quincy Notre Dame High School, a name which it holds to this day.

Quincy St. Mary Institute / Notre Dame High School Quick Facts

Year opened as St. Mary Institute for Girls:  1873

Year expanded to 3-year high school:          1890

Year expanded to 4-year high school:          1894

Year became “St. Mary Academy”:             1910

Year name changed to Notre Dame:            1928

Year boys allowed to attend:                       1940

Year Notre Dame became all-girls again:      1959

Year Notre Dame became co-ed again:        1975 (Still Open)


We know that during the time period of 1940 through 1959 the boys competed in several sports.  From1875 through 1929 and again from 1959 through 1975 we do not believe, that as all girls school athletics were offered.  If you have any information to the contrary please contact us.  School team nickname, uniform colors, coaches names, and any other items are welcome.

The following sports information covers boys sports only from 1940 – 1959.  It was located and reprinted from the IHSA website ( www.ihsa.org ).


A total of seven District titles, one Regional title, and a Sectional crown were won by the Notre Dame High School boys.  The best year in school history occurred in the 1951-52 season when the team finished the season as the IHSA’s SECOND PLACE TEAM!!  If you have any further information on this sport at Notre Dame HS between the years of 1940 and 1959, please drop us a note.

1941-42              District Champions
1946-47              District Champions
1948-49              District Champions
1950-51              District Champions


1951-52  17 –  1   Team Placed SECOND in STATE TOURNEY!!   Coach Pete Affre

                          District Champions

                          Sectional Champions

                          IHSA State Finalist (One Class!)

                          Elite 8 Finalist

                          Beat Waukegan 4 – 0

                          Final 4 Finalist 

Beat Gorham 4 – 0

                          STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

                          Lost to Morton Township HS 5 – 3

1953-54              District Champions
1955-56              District Champions
1956-57              Regional Champions


The boys had great success on the hardwood court.  The team of 1956-57, in fact, placed FOURTH at the IHSA State Tourney in the old one-class format!

1940-41   19 – 9                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1941-42   12 – 10                                                                      Coach Pete Affre

1942-43   11 – 7                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1943-44   10 – 9                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1944-45   21 – 6                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1945-46   10 – 9                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1946-47     3 – 17                                                                      Coach Pete Affre

1947-48   13 – 10                                                                      Coach James McGuire

1948-49     6 – 15                                                                      Coach Pete Affre

1949-50     2 – 20                                                                      Coach Pat Keane

1950-51   10 – 13                                                                       Coach Pat Keane

1951-52   17 – 7                                                                        Coach Pete Affre

1952-53   15 – 10                                                                      Coach Hank Constantino

1953-54   20 – 6                                                                        Coach Hank Berg

1954-55   18 – 8                                                                        Coach Hank Berg

1955-56   24 – 4                                                                        Coach Hank Berg

1956-57   30 – 4      Team Place FOURTH at IHSA Tourney!!    Coach Gene Runde
Regional Champions

                             Sectional Champions

                             Sweet 16 Finalist

                             Beat Springfield HS 65 – 53

                             Elite 8 Finalist

                             Beat Evanston 70 – 63

                             Final 4 Finalist

                             Lost to Herrin 68 – 47

(Herrin won State Championship)

                             Consolation Game

                             Lost to Ottawa 65 – 64 (O/T)


1957-58   26 – 2                                                                        Coach Gene Runde

1958-59   26 – 5      Regional Champions                                 Coach Gene Runde


Only two records are known at this time regarding the Notre Dame of Quincy HS boys football program (1940 – 1959). The coach was none other than Pete Affre, who saw double duty at the schools boys basketball coach for several years as well.

1946-47                    Coach Peter Affre

1947-48   4 – 2 – 3      Coach Peter Affre


One student earned a medal at the IHSA Individual Events competition.

1958     Joseph Anthony     Original Oratory        5TH PLACE


Please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. if you have ANY further information on the history of Quincy St. Mary Institute or Notre Dame of Quincy (1940 – 1975) and its former school system. Photos of the high school building are always a great addition. You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

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