Hartford’s Gallagher signs contract extension

Hartford head men’s basketball coach John Gallagher has signed a multi-year contract extension, Interim Director of Athletics Maria Feeley announced Thursday morning. The deal will keep Gallagher with the Hawks though the 202223 season.

“I am honored and humbled to continue to lead the University of Hartford’s men’s basketball program,” Gallagher said. “Hartford is a world-class institution and our students, staff, faculty, and donors make our community very special. I want to thank President Greg Woodward and Maria Feeley for their support, and for their unwavering commitment to our gifted student-athletes.”

Gallagher has served as the Hawks’ head coach since 2010. During that time, he has become the winningest coach in Hartford’s Division I era (134 wins) and guided the team to program records in regular-season victories (18) and total wins (19) during the 2017–18 season.

The Hawks’ 37 victories between 2017 and 2019 also mark the most successful two-year run in Hartford’s Division I history.

“We are very excited to have John continue to guide our young men going forward,” said Feeley. “He has led the program to new heights during the past decade. I’ve been impressed by his work ethic and dedication, and I look forward to seeing him write the next chapter in Hartford Men’s Basketball history.”

Currently in his 10th season at Hartford, Gallagher is the third-longest tenured coach in program history, behind Gordon McCullough (14 years) and Jack Phelan (11 years). He trails only McCullough (201) on the program’s all-time wins list.

The Hawks have also excelled in the classroom during Gallagher’s tenure. This past spring, 12 players earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher, with six earning GPAs of 3.5 or better and two registering perfect 4.0 marks. Most impressively, Hartford led all America East men’s basketball teams in GPA for the second straight year in 2018-19, recording a 3.35. In addition, Gallagher’s team members have been dedicated supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, as well as of Junior Achievement.

“John has been dedicated to developing our student-athletes and helping build the next generation of leaders here at the University of Hartford,” Woodward said. “In addition to their successes on the court, the members of our men’s basketball team have raised the bar in the classroom. I’m pleased that John has renewed his commitment to remain our head men’s basketball coach.”

In addition to the team’s successes on the court and in the classroom, Gallagher was named the America East co-Coach of the Year in 2017-18 and the CollegeInsider.com America East Coach of the Year in 2012-13. He has led 24 players to All-Conference honors, including three First Team, six Second Team, six Third Team, four All-Defensive Team, two All-Rookie Team and three All-Academic Team members.

Earlier this season, Hartford defeated Big Ten foe Northwestern, 67-66, in Chicago, marking the fourth consecutive season in which the Hawks have knocked off a Power 5 opponent. That list includes fellow Big Ten member Rutgers (2017) and ACC rival Boston College (2016 and 2018). It is the longest active winning streak against Power 5 opponents of any America East program.

“Our student-athletes embrace every opportunity they earn with both gratitude and confidence,” Gallagher said. “Competing with the ‘Hartford’ name on their chests is a privilege, and competing against great teams and coaches is especially exciting. This is an area of which we are especially proud.”

Picked to finish sixth in the 2019-20 America East preseason poll following the graduation of six seniors from last year’s squad — five of whom went on to play professionally — the Hawks got off to a 3-0 start in conference play for the first time since 2012-13 and enter the weekend fourth in the conference with a 3-2 record.


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