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Padecky: For Gary Galloway, shaping young men is finest reward

  • Gary Galloway, St. Vincent's coach for 30 seasons, has led his team to 200 victories and earned tremendous respect. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)


In searching Monday for the right response, John Walker, principal of St. Vincent High School, went historical and found the answer in South Dakota.

“If we had a Mount Rushmore on campus,” Walker said, “Gary's face would be on it.”

Galloway Coaches SVHS to 200th Win


Gary Galloway's mug in granite, now there's an image. Strong and solid, chiseled and eternal, a face that's been around here so long, the man behind it is a backstory known to both the young and to the old. Nine kids who are playing football for him this season, their fathers played for Galloway.

“I understand there's a fifth-grader coming up that ...” Galloway paused for the notion to sink in, “will be a grandkid of someone I coached.”

Yes, a backstory, that's Galloway, 61. His is a backstory that serves this sentence well: Everyone would like to leave an imprint before their time is done. No one wants to be a vapor in the mist, a fleeting presence gone while still around. To be known, to be remembered, to be a face on Mt. St. Vincent, that takes some effort.

It takes this kind of effort.

The kind of effort you might find hard to believe. I know I did.

Galloway is in his 30th year as St. Vincent's football coach. OK. Fine.

Last Saturday he won his 200th game. OK. Great. Not everyone does that. Now for the punch line.

“The vast majority of kids who play football at St. Vincent's never played before they got here,” Galloway said.

You mean, it's like Football 101 when they arrive as freshman? Like, here kids, here's the laces. Here's how you hold the football. Here's how you throw the football. Stuff like that, stuff that basic?

“Yep,” Galloway said.

You show them how to put on the pads? Dress them?

“Yep,” he said again.

What begins as remedial football turns into this: A 200-117-1 career record, four NCS championships, and 10 league championships (shared or solo).

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