Knights of the Round Table

Established in 2003, the purpose of the McQuaid Jesuit Knights of the Round Table is to recognize individuals, living or deceased, who have distinguished themselves in their personal lives and careers, thereby reflecting credit upon McQuaid Jesuit’s educational efforts, moral principles and philosophical tenets. Candidates for the Knights of the Round Table include alumni, members of the McQuaid Jesuit faculty, administration and staff, coaches and non-alumni.

2018 Inductees

Bob Armstrong

Bob Armstrong was hired at McQuaid in the fall of 1974 to teach physical education and coach varsity soccer and tennis. In his 40 plus years as a teacher and coach he was committed to training young men to become Knights and shaping them to be prepared for their quest in life. His strong personality and tough but direct style both in class and competition motivated the students to be their best. Whether it was soccer, tennis, basketball or any other team he coached, it was never about wins and losses, rather playing the game right and getting the most out of his athletes.

His passion for making a real and positive difference in the world is perhaps, best exemplified by his success in leading the school’s Red Cross Blood Drive for four decades. More than a teacher and coach, he has been a beloved figure in the McQuaid community as evident by his 2014 Yearbook dedication and countless “call outs” during student commencement speeches over the years.

Although the 2017-18 academic year was his last, Armstrong’s love for McQuaid, dedication to its mission, and contributions to the community live in Knights past and present, and will endure for future generations of young men.

Fr. Bill Poorten, S.J.

Fr. Bill Poorten, S.J. served on the McQuaid faculty for 14 years (1964-78), six of them as Superior of the Jesuit Community. He taught Theology, A.P. English, Latin, and film study; was moderator of Sodality, coordinated liturgies and gave retreats; moderated the Parents Club and supervised or participated in the planning and execution of several charity events. As a teacher-representative he accompanied McQuaid students on numerous informational visits to Catholic elementary schools to talk with eighth graders and encourage them to consider applying for McQuaid and each summer directed the Higher Achievement Program for younger students who were in special need for academic support.

It did not take long for a new student or a new teacher coming to McQuaid in these years to discover this remarkable and tireless man of energy. In addition to wearing all the hats in the roles and responsibilities mentioned, Fr. Poorten was a daily visible presence throughout the school, conveying enthusiasm and spirit, encouragement and good humor, and demonstrating to all what it means to know and love and serve God. His approach-ability and sensitive listening skills often brought him to take on added roles as counselor, spiritual director and consultant. This was a challenging period of time in McQuaid’s history, and Fr. Poorten inspired confidence and optimism throughout the school community.

Tom Sprague

Tom Sprague’s soft-spoken, knowledgeable style and inimitable wit endeared him to McQuaid students from the moment he stepped on campus in the fall of 1974 as an assistant football coach. The following fall he was hired full-time to teach IPS and math, beginning a lifelong career dedicated to the students of McQuaid in the Jesuit teaching of “cura personalis” or care for the individual. A beloved and admired teacher and coach throughout his entire career, his strong but open style endeared himself to thousands of young men as evident by him receiving Teacher of the Year recognition two times (1997, 2007) as well as being honored with the Yearbook dedication twice (1991, 2017).

A true “Man for Others,” there wasn’t anything Sprague wasn’t willing to do to help better the life of the school, including serving as math department chair, junior class moderator, and a fixture behind the bar at all McQuaid alumni events, among many others.

Coach Sprague continued as an assistant football coach until 1982 when he was promoted to head coach. He also coached freshman and eighth grade basketball and is a 2014 inductee into McQuaid’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

A true McQuaid legend, Sprague officially retired following the 2017-18 academic year, but we certainly hope to see his infectious smile at events for years to come!

Past Inductees