The George Washington University: Blogs

The George Washington Athletics Department mourns the passing of 1976 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and district coaching legend Joe Gallagher, who died on Monday at the age of 93.

A lifelong resident of D.C., Gallagher was raised on 24th and K Streets in Foggy Bottom and was a two-sport student-athlete in basketball and baseball at GW before earning his degree in 1943.

He was a three-year starter on the hardwood for Head Coach Bill Reinhart and as a senior captained GW past Duke for the 1943 Southern Conference Championship, earning Second Team All-Tournament honors.

Gallagher spent six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was a captain in World War II.  He eventually became a history teacher, athletic director and basketball coach at St. John's College High School, his prep alma mater.  He retired after 44 years of coaching basketball (1947-91) with 870 victories and was counted among the 10 winningest high school coaches of all time.

Also head football coach at St. John's for 21 years, Gallagher was inducted into the St. John's College High School Hall of Fame in 1973, the Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and was a member of GW Basketball's All-Century Team in 2001.  He also received the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

"I worked the Metropolitan Area Basketball School, the camp he ran with Morgan Wootten, for years," said GW Head Coach Mike Lonergan.  "Coach Gallagher was one of my mentors, a great guy and legend in the area.  He'll be missed, not just by myself, but by the entire D.C. and GW communities."

Thumbnail image for Sailing_Blog_22nd_G (1).jpgSophomore Gabriella Malek recaps the first couple weeks of practice and shares some of the team highlights thus far.

With a challenging and packed schedule this season, the entire sailing team couldn't wait to get on the water and start to #RaiseHigh! We jumped right into the swing of things with an intense weekend clinic to work out our kinks and to familiarize ourselves with our new teammates! Each week, we create goals for ourselves as well as a team focus. Last week, we fine-tuned our boat-handling skills as well as practiced our starts (one of the most important parts of a race!). This week, our focus will be on tactics and racing.  Below are some pictures from practice, and head after the jump for more about our first week on the water and how we're preparing for the 2014-15 season #RaiseHigh-style! 


Practicing our boat handling skills

Thumbnail image for Sailing_Blog_22nd_G (1).jpgSophomore Colin Kennedy shares what he learned this summer sailing at the prestigious Oakcliff Sailing Center and how he is bringing the knowledge he learned on and off the water this summer back to GW Sailing.

Too Good To Be True! While this is a phrase many people use as hyperbole, Oakcliff Sailing Center truly models these words. This past summer I was able to participate as one of nine Saplings at Oakcliff for the second year in a row. After packing up all of my belongings from Lafayette Hall, I went to Oyster Bay, New York to start my summer at Oakcliff. It all began with a Grade 3 match-racing regatta on our Swedish Match 40s and then to racing the Around Block Island Race, with boat work sprinkled in between.

Thumbnail image for photo 1(4).JPGColin trimming the jib for Charlie Lalumiere on the winning boat!

Read more about Colin's exciting summer of sailing after the jump.

Sailing_Blog_22nd_G (1).jpg
Junior Henry Young interviews Head Coach John Pearce about his summer, sailing and his hopes for the upcoming year.

As the school year (and the sailing season!) starts once again here at The George Washington University, everyone, especially the sailing team, is busy catching up with friends, classmates and teammates. I'm sure you've all been running around campus trying to see everyone and hear about their summers too. Of course, it's not always possible to see everyone you want to see, and get the inside scoop on what went down over those three months that we've all been apart, but that is where I am here to help. I know you've all been dying to hear how the man, the myth, the legend and, most importantly, GW sailing's Head Coach John Pearce, has spent his summer. Knowing that you would all crave such information ravenously I sat down with this fearless leader of the Colonial Navy so as to get you all up to date.

Read Henry's recount of Coach Pearce's summer after the jump!

@GW_Volleyball Surprised With New Locker Room

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On the final day of practice before opening the 2014 season at this weekend's GW Invitational, the George Washington volleyball team was surprised by their coaching staff with a brand new locker room at the Charles E. Smith Center.

The locker room features individual wooden lockers for each player, complete with action photos above to individualize each station. The locker room also includes bathrooms and showers in addition to carpeted floors and quick access to the court level at Smith Center. Lockers.jpg

GW Football Alumni Share Memories at Biennial Reunions

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While GW student-athletes are making their way back to campus and reuniting with their teammates, alumni of the GW football teams of the 1960s gathered together in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, earlier this summer for their biennial reunion.

GW sponsored football as a varsity sport until 1966, posting a 208-241-34 overall record, and in 1956, the Colonials went 7-1-1 and defeated Texas Western, 13-0, in the Sun Bowl.

Though the team no longer competes, former GW football players have gathered together every other year for the better part of three decades.

Members of the GW men's cross country program kicked off the 2014-15 year of community service with a visit to Cleveland Elementary School for the DC Public Schools Beautification Day on Saturday.


@GW_WBB in Europe Day 9 - Final Day in Monaco and Nice

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Today was the final day of our amazing European tour, and we spent it exploring picturesque Monaco and Nice. We left Marseille in the morning and headed a few hours northeast, passing vineyard after vineyard with rolling hills in the background.

We arrived in Monaco around lunchtime and spent the early part of the afternoon wandering the streets and taking in the spectacular views fo the tiny country located high above the Mediterranean Sea. At 0.8 square miles, Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world and the most densely populated with around 30,000 residents. Monaco is an independent kingdom but is under French military protection


What a day - what a city! Marseille is simply beautiful and the view from the restaurant in our hotel where we had breakfast is breathtaking. Speaking of breakfast, our hotel's breakfast buffet has been voted the best in Europe, and it did not disappoint.

After eating our fill, we set out for the beach. Driving along the coast provided stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The beach itself was unlike most beaches in the U.S. - the shore was mostly rocky instead of sand - but we didn't let that or the chilly water stop us from enjoying a few hours in the sun!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Sailing_Blog_22nd_G (1).jpgCaptain's Corner - A Past Perspective

Senior captains Matthew Ricci and Alex Hitchcock share their thoughts about the upcoming season as well as give us a taste of what the team was like in the club days before it became varsity. 

Matthew Ricci '15
Hey everyone, my name is Matt Ricci, and I'm one of this year's captains of the GW Sailing Team! I'm a senior studying Biological Anthropology in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and I'm also on the Pre-Med track. This year, the senior class represents the last class that was a part of the Club Sailing Team before we gained varsity status, so we wanted to share some of these perspectives as we continue to share our story with you.

When I joined the sailing team my freshman year, it was a modest club team with a lot of heart despite having the bare essentials. We were entirely student-run, and during practices we often joined the Georgetown Sailing Team in drills led by their head coach, Mike Callahan. Without a coach, this was one of the only ways we were able to structure our own practices. My time on Club Sailing was limited, however, thanks to the impressive dedication of the sailors before me who spearheaded our varsity campaign. 

During my sophomore year, I was one of the lucky team members able to witness and partake in our transition to a Varsity Team. Seeing the transformation of this team over the past few years has been truly incredible, and I am fortunate to have been part of such a pivotal point in our team's history. Out of all of the benefits, amenities, and luxuries we gained in this transition, what I appreciate most is the fact that our Varsity status allows us to focus on what we are there to do, and that is simply to sail. We no longer have busy college students worried about maintaining and repairing our boats. We no longer have team members stressed about travel logistics each weekend. All we have to do is show up and sail. I believe this benefit alone has allowed us to compete at a much higher level due to our ability to focus on our sport with minimal distractions.

Being on a team with its sights set on becoming one of the nation's top sailing programs has taught me the power of working on a team of close-knit, dedicated individuals. With our continued perseverance and fearless leadership by our Head Coach, John Pearce, I know that GW Sailing is on its way to greater success than we've ever seen before.

Alexandria Hitchcock '15
My GW sailing career started the fall semester of my freshman year when I signed up to join while perusing the student organization booths. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted to be involved as I had grown up sailing and loved being on the water. If someone told me then that I would be a varsity sailor on a D1 team in less than a year, I probably would have laughed. I had little knowledge of the large plans my predecessors had in store for the team and what that entailed.

Those were the days when regatta weekends meant piling into someones car and driving eight hours, insanity from listening to the same homemade CD for hours on end, and sleeping on the floor of our closest friends houses wherever the regatta was hosted. It also meant being on a team comprised of friendships, inside jokes, and genuine compassion for the sport. In the two years since going varsity, floors have now turned into proper beds and eight hour drives have been made more comfortable by the coveted Ford vans. But of course that's not all - the introduction of our coach, John Pearce, has brought new insight, drive, and the leader we have needed to take our team to the next level. 

With each year, our team continues to grow and strive to be the best we can be and live up to the expectations set by us, and for us. As we bring in new talent, there is a continued commitment to recognize where we started, and where we are going. Our unique bond between each and every one of us as teammates and friends has allowed the team to stay connected to our roots in the club days, while excelling as athletes on the water. 

This upcoming year is going to be a monumental one! With more than 10 new members joining our team and an even greater drive to succeed, we have the perfect formula for success. Of course, the introduction of 18 new boats, a product of the Raise High the Sails Campaign, will surely help! It's going to be a great year and I am excited to see where we will go! 


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