Wales manager Gary Speed has died at the age of just 42, the Football Association of Wales announced on Sunday.
Quinn said: "This sad, sad news has devastated everyone at Sunderland today.
"His career speaks for itself but the esteem in which he was held universally was immense and absolutely unique.
"His enthusiasm, his spirit of fair play and the encouraging leader he became towards the end of his playing career seemed to be paving the way to a fantastic career in management."
Quinn added: "All of Sunderland is thinking of Gary's family right now and our thoughts and prayers go out to them. God bless to one of football's good guys."