Short sacked Paolo Di Canio just 13 matches after hiring the Italian with the club bottom of the Premier League table having picked up just one point from their opening five games of the current campaign.
He then brought in Gus Poyet as Di Canio's replacement and Quinn, who was a player, manager and chairman at Sunderland during his career, believes that Short deserves credit for not shirking his responsibilities.
"[He deserves] a real pat on the back for doing what he did so quickly with the Di Canio situation and bringing someone in like Gus Poyet," Quinn told reporters.
"I think the future bodes well. You feel the impetus is there and they can go and play teams now with so much less fear and enjoy the games.
"If Gus Poyet manages to do it and pulls it off [keep Sunderland up], I think it is one of the best things to happen to the club in many, many years."
Poyet has masterminded wins over Newcastle United, Southampton and Manchester City since taking over at the Stadium of Light.