On Monday, November 7th, 2022, just one day before the University of Hartford men’s basketball season begins with a home matchup against Sacred Heart University, head coach John Gallagher announced his resignation, effective immediately. The letter was explicitly addressed to President Gregory Woodward, who, in 2021, just weeks after the men’s basketball program won their first America East Championship and appeared in the NCAA March Madness Tournament for the first time in school history, shared his plans to move the University’s athletics program from Division I to Division 3.
In a copy of the resignation letter, obtained by STN2 from Senior Writer for CBS Sports Matt Norlander via his Twitter page (@MattNorlander), Gallagher outlines the reasonings for his decision. His tweet, which contains images of Gallagher’s letter, is linked here.
Over his 12 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball team, John Galagher has collected 169 wins, making him the winningest coach in the program’s history. Additionally, Gallagher led the hawks to 6 winning seasons. For reference, prior to Gallagher’s tenure with the Hawks, during a 26-year stretch from 1984 (the programs first year in Division I) to 2009, 4 other coaches combined for a total of winning seasons. However, Gallagher will forever be remembered on the court for guiding the Hawks to their first America East Championship title in 2021.
As Gallagher expresses in his resignation letter, his decision comes amidst health and safety concerns surrounding the men’s basketball team. According to John Gallagher, the University’s administration team refused to send an athletic trainer with the team to an exhibition game against Dartmouth earlier this preseason. Furthermore, the school did not provide proper finances that allowed the team to eat while on the road, and other breaches in his contract agreements have been carried out by the University. All these recent conundrums, on top of the men’s basketball program being stripped of scholarships over the past few years and the administration’s undermining decision, without the advice or opinions of coaches and athletic staff members, to move the school’s athletics program from Division I to Division III, have factored into Gallagher’s ultimate decision.
Gallagher’s resignation went public, and since his announcement, the University has responded to his claims. In their statement to the press, the University of Hartford said that “the safety of our students is our top priority”, adding that “Mr. Gallagher’s resignation letter is full of inaccuracies. We are confident that these claims and attacks will be disproved through the legal process.” They also stated that “The University confirmed Dartmouth College would have an athletic trainer on site”, thus refuting Gallagher’s health and safety concerns.
This story is ongoing. STN will continue to update the story as more news and information on the matter is presented.