Dan Gallagher has been named the head boys’ basketball coach at Aberdeen Roncalli.
He is no stranger to the program having played for the Cavaliers and also being an assistant coach.
The 2014 graduate of Roncalli competed in football, basketball and track and field while in high school.
“It’s an exciting thing just being able to kind of take what our coaches taught and put that into practice a little bit more,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher, a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Roncalli Elementary, has served as an assistant basketball coach since 2019. He also is the defensive coordinator for football, is an assistant track coach, and helps coordinate strength and conditioning programs. In short, he knows every Roncalli athlete.
“Every single kid that’s out for basketball I’ve coached, whether it’s just in basketball, multiple guys I coach in football and multiple guys I coach in track. So they all know me and they’re all in the weight room every day,” Gallagher said. “They know what I’m looking for and they know what to expect from me. They know what I expect of them, so we’re going to be able to just jump right and get going with where we need to be.”
Gallagher said he plans to bring a new definition of success as he takes over the basketball program.
“We’ve definitely had our struggles, especially in the win-loss column, just also what the guys thought success really is,” Gallagher said. “Kind of defining a new term a success and what that really means, because at the end of the year one team is going to be holding up a state championship (trophy). So I don’t want that to define us, because if we only define success by that, Roncalli has had two successful years in program history and that’s definitely not the case.”
Instead, Gallagher will be looking for maximum effort and players reaching their full potential.
“We want to try to develop our own definition of success and what that really means. What it means is going into a game and knowing what you’re going to do, being prepared, playing to the best of your abilities,” he said. “If we can do that, practice after practice, game after game, we’re going to end the year on a positive note, knowing that we did our best and that’s all we can ask for.”
As for putting his stamp on the program, that means applying plenty of defensive pressure as you might expect from a defensive coordinator.
“We’re going to rely a lot on our defensive intensity. We want to get after teams,” he said. “Being a defensive coordinator, kind of a football-minded coach, I want to be the team that gets after someone. So you’re going to see a lot of that next year and try to build ourselves up athletically, too.”
Incoming Roncalli Athletic Director Derek Larson believes that Gallagher is a great fit for the program.
“Coach Gallagher will bring strong positive leadership to our boys’ basketball program,” Larson said in a press release. “We are excited for the passion he has for developing our student athletes and basketball players into young men.”
Gallagher is not only excited about his new position, he is looking forward to working with people who helped to shape him and also for the opportunity to continue to work with athletes he has been around.
“I’ve got some great mentors, guys that coached me all throughout my high school career that I’m still working with every day. I work in the same building as our girls’ basketball coach, coach Larson. He’s already given me a lot of insight into what it takes to run a basketball program. I get to work with some of the best of the best,” Gallagher said. “I know that our players are great kids. Kids that I can work with, not worried about they’re going to give me their best. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to be able to kind of put my stamp on the program, but at the same time do whatever it takes to help them be successful is every area of life.”
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