Men's Basketball Hires John Gallagher

PHILADELPHIA - Penn’s John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Glen Miller, has announced the hiring of John Gallagher as an assistant coach. Gallagher replaces Chris Sparks, who resigned recently to take a job at his prep school alma mater, Wilbraham & Monson School in Massachusetts.

“I really like John’s experience as a coach, he brings a lot of enthusiasm and passion to the job,” said Miller, who recently completed his second season with the Quakers. “You look at the people he has played under and coached for, and the thing that they have in common is that they are great teachers and mentors. John is also well-connected in Philadelphia, which is a huge plus for us.”

Gallagher spent the past two years as associate coach of the Hartford men’s basketball team under head coach Dan Leibovitz. In addition to recruiting and scheduling responsibilities, he was instrumental in implementing and running the team’s offensive sets.

Gallagher played an integral role in Hartford’s recent success. In 2007-08, the Hawks won a school-record 18 games and earned their highest-ever finish (tie for second) in the America East regular season standings. Hartford also advanced to the final of the America East Championship for the first time in school history. Under Gallagher’s guidance, the Hawks ranked third in the America East in scoring (70.8 ppg) and set a school and conference record for three-pointers in a single season (312).

The move also gives Penn a coach with significant Philadelphia and Big 5 ties.

Before coming to Hartford, Gallagher spent the previous two seasons as the top assistant at Lafayette College on Fran O’Hanlon’s staff, serving as that program’s top recruiter. He was also in charge of developing the team’s guards.

Gallagher arrived at Lafayette by way of La Salle University, where he coached five seasons -- two under Big 5 legend Speedy Morris, and three under Billy Hahn. He jumped right into coaching upon graduation from Saint Joseph’s University in 1999.

Gallagher’s coaching tenure followed a successful playing career at Saint Joseph’s, where he was a guard for three seasons and a member of the 1996 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

Gallagher is one sibling in a basketball-rich family; his sisters, Ann and Joan, played college basketball at La Salle and Boston College, respectively.