John Galloway is closing the book on one chapter of his lacrosse career after recently announcing his retirement as a player.
The Syracuse all-time great and goalie with Chrome LC of the Premier Lacrosse League has also become one of college lacrosse’s top young coaches, just finishing his fifth season at the helm at Jacksonville University.
He joined “New England Lacrosse Journal’s Chasing The Goal” podcast this week to talk with hosts Jack Piatelli and Kyle Devitte about calling it a career as a player, the lure of a career in sports media and what he’s building at Jacksonville, among other topics.
The full podcast can be accessed below.
Jack Piatelli: Were you always a goaltender when you started playing lacrosse?
John Galloway: I wasn’t. I started playing with a short-stick. I’m the product of being a younger brother. My older brother and his buddies were 10 years older and played for the West Genesee program when they were really in their glory days. I was willing to do anything to play with them, so I jumped in net whenever I could and the rest is history.
JP: How did you get into coaching? Was it something you always wanted to do?
JG: The reason why I chose Syracuse was the academic side. I went to Newhouse (School of Public Communications) and was in broadcast journalism for a while. I wanted to be where you guys are, behind the microphone. As I went through my career I realized that it’s a challenging gig, what you guys do. The challenges to go to Boise, Idaho, to work on a sports radio show, or maybe to go cover local sports in a different town.
When I got out of playing I was going to move to New York City and pursue some career opportunities. I was working a lacrosse camp and (Duke coach) John Danowski was there. We had lunch together at St. Andrew’s High School; I’ll never forget it. He asked me if I’d be interested in coming to work for him for a year as a volunteer. I don’t know if I’d be in coaching if I worked for anyone else, but John Danowski makes the game fun. … I saw under his tutelage that you can really make an impact (as a coach) and I fell in love with it ever since.
Kyle Devitte: I had you retiring three years ago. Why are you retiring now?
JG: For me it’s always been about the ability to write my final chapter. I certainly didn’t want to be a guy that was brought out back and asked to leave, essentially. I wanted to make sure I was playing at least a level where I wasn’t hurting the team and hopefully there were moments where I was helping the team.
In 2018 I did plan to finish, after the gold-medal game (at the FIL World Championships) and the (Major League Lacrosse) championship game with Dallas. My hope was to hang them up at that point. But when the PLL was created I felt like it was an opportunity for us to grow the game to its greatest level.
JP: Why should New England players take a look at Jacksonville?
JG: I’m very passionate when I talk about Jacksonville. I’ve seen not only what this place has to offer but the growth under our president (Tim Cost). … The school is built on the pillars of our Davis College of Business and our health care sciences. That’s what the core of our guys are experiencing. We’re at a place academically where we can bring in high-end students and we’ve done that. But it’s also a place that’s smaller, it’s 3,500 undergrad. We have our own academic advisor. Every guy is part of this campus and when you’re walking around campus, they know you’re a lacrosse player and that’s important to us.