JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University Athletics announced the signing of men’s lacrosse head coach John Galloway to a new long-term contract on Monday.
Galloway, who recently lead men’s lacrosse to its best season in program history and was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in the last five years, is inked through the end of the decade with the new deal.
“We are thrilled to announce a new long-term contract for John Galloway. He is world-class in every sense of the word and is an outstanding coach, teacher, mentor, fundraiser, ambassador, colleague and more,” said Senior Vice President/Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert. “John has transformed Jacksonville Men’s Lacrosse into a national competitor and brand.”
“I wake up every morning and go to bed every night thankful I get to serve as the head coach of this team, and I have never been hungrier than I am today to get back to work for this group,” Galloway said. “Our mission in this program is to act fearlessly, to earn everything, to be the most respected, and to prepare relentlessly. That is what we will continue to do for years to come!”
Galloway was named the third head coach in program history back in the summer of 2016, one of then-recently promoted AD Ricker-Gilbert’s first hires, and has presided over the steady growth of the program, both on- and off-the-field ever since. This past season was a culmination of the hard work to grow the program, with JU experiencing a “year of firsts”, including the team’s first national ranking, first 10-win season and first regular season SoCon Championship.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native has laid the groundwork for the program’s success since stepping foot on-campus to great fanfare six years ago. By year two, he engineered one of the best turnarounds in the country, with a five-win improvement and a berth in the SoCon Tournament Championship game for the first time in school history, en route to earning his first conference Coach of the Year award.
In 2019, the team earned its first-ever win over a top-10 opponent, besting #10 High Point 12-10. Returning from the COVID-shortened 2020 season, the Dolphins topped Air Force in the nationally televised Jacksonville Lacrosse Classic and advanced to the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament, an accomplishment achieved in every season under Galloway after JU missed the postseason in the two seasons prior to his arrival.
2022 included prominent wins over #2 Duke and #14 Denver on the road and #17 Richmond at home, the first season in JU history with wins over multiple ranked opponents. It concluded with the program’s second ever appearance in the conference tournament final and the team was ranked #11 nationally at the end of its season after going 14-3 overall and a perfect 5-0 in SoCon play. The Dolphins finished the campaign in the top-three of eight different NCAA statistical categories, the most of any team in the country. The team was ranked as high as sixth in country and was featured in a cover story by USA Lacrosse magazine.
“We set out six years ago with a vision to be the ‘Lacrosse Capital of the South’ and that vision has become a reality under John’s leadership,” said Ricker-Gilbert.
“People often ask me what is next in my coaching career. Politely, I begin to tell them the story of Jacksonville lacrosse,” Galloway remarked. “When we first got here, we wanted to create a mission that everyone in our campus family could be a part of. Since our arrival, our administration has supported us in every step of the way to provide a first-class experience for our players, staff, alumni and families.”
The program has grown off the field as well since he arrived on campus, and he played a large role in the fundraising efforts that led to the building of the Rock Lacrosse Center, one of only a handful of lacrosse-specific facilities in the country, as well as the brand-new turf that was installed at Rock Stadium prior to the 2022 season. A lot of this was achieved through the development and growth of the 88 Club fundraising organization and a consistent presence as one of the top performers in the annual Dolphin Dash university fundraiser.
The size of the team has grown to reflect the increase in efforts and resources, going from 35-40 players when he first took over, to 65-70 men on the team now. With the increased talent pool, the scheduling has reflected the “to be the best, you have to beat the best” philosophy, with the likes of Johns Hopkins, Duke, Denver, North Carolina, Navy, Ohio State, Towson and Penn State filling up the non-conference schedule over the years.
Under his tutelage, the team has produced 28 First or Second Team All-Conference members, as well as seven All-Freshman Team members, two SoCon Defensive Players of the Year and a Freshman of the Year. Additionally, several players have earned national recognition, with multiple players being honored by outlets such as Inside Lacrosse, USILA, USA Lacrosse Magazine and College Crosse as All-Americans.
The record book has been rewritten under Galloway’s coaching, with the program career records being set in points, goals, assists, groundballs and caused turnovers and also the single-season records for points, goals, assists, groundballs, faceoff wins and percentage have all been set in the last six years.
A former long-time professional goalie, who won a gold medal with the United States at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship and was an early star of the Premier Lacrosse League after a successful stint in Major League Lacrosse, winning Rookie of the Year, Goalie of the Year twice and was named an All-Star twice. His success was built on an outstanding collegiate career at Syracuse, where he won an NCAA-record 59 games in goal, earning First Team All-American honors twice while helping the Orange to two national championships.
“John was a generational player and I believe he is a generational coach,” said Ricker-Gilbert. “We are ecstatic that he will be our coach for many years to come.”
Building off of his years of professional experience, Galloway has seen multiple players go on to be drafted into the pro lacrosse ranks. Three have been selected in the National Lacrosse League draft, four into Major League Lacrosse and just last month, defenseman Colin Hinton was the first in program history to go in the Premier Lacrosse League college draft.
“I am indebted to this university, our Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert, our President Tim Cost, our alumni, and our players. They have provided me with the answer to what is next in my career: to continue to build on the foundation and legacy of our mission and this program,” said Galloway.
“I want to also thank our coaching staff who challenge me daily to think critically about everything we do. Chris Perzinski, Tyler Granelli, Nik Colpitts, Danielle Della Rocca, Pat Cornelius, Henry Chastain and Adam Silva make up one of the most talented lacrosse staffs in the country. They are the engine to what we do. I would also like to thank my wife Christina for allowing me to pursue this passion vigorously with her full support, guidance, and baking skills for the boys after wins!”