AEC Win for Hartford Team Gave Coach From Broomall a Chance to Put Things Right

David Bjorkgren

On Saturday, the Hartford Hawks and their head coach, Broomall native John Gallagher, got a second chance.

For the first time, the Hawks took the America East Men’s Conference Championship.

The team was supposed to play in the America East Conference last year, but COVID shut them down, writes Mike Sielski for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Gallagher was a point guard at Cardinal O’Hara, a walk-on at St. Joe’s and an assistant coach at La Salle, St. Joe’s and Penn, before becoming head coach at Hartford in 2010.

The Hartford  team had not been very successful going into the 2017-18 season and Gallagher was told he’d be fired if they didn’t win in the next year.

After some sage advice from Bily Lange, head coach at St. Joseph’s and the Sixer’s assistant coach, Gallagher was able to inspire his team to win 19-14 in 2017-18, and 18-15 for each of the next two years.  They had advanced to the 2020 AEC title game when  COVID cancelled the game.

Gallagher suffered misplaced guilt for the lost opportunity.  

“It just took a memory away,” he said, “whether we won or lost.”

This year, they took it all back.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about John Gallagher.