Varsity Wrestling Coach Kevin Gallagher and Class of 2023 alumnus Ethan Gallo receive prestigious National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors

Kevin GallagherVarsity Wrestling Coach Kevin Gallagher was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and honored on Sept. 24 by the Upstate New York Chapter of the NWHOF with a Lifetime Service Award at a ceremony held in Syracuse.

Coach Gallagher will now be enshrined in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at the State Chapters section of the Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The award, one of seven Lifetime Service awards presented, recognizes individuals and all they’ve done to contribute to the sport of wrestling.

Ethan Gallo and officialsAdditionally, Class of 2023 alumnus Ethan Gallo, now a SUNY Cortland freshman, was presented with the Robert Felmeier Outstanding Wrestler Award for Division I. This award is presented to the outstanding wrestler in the upstate New York area. The award is based on wrestling excellence, academic record and community contributions.

Kevin Gallagher and family

“Coach Gallagher is the ‘best of the best’ of all high school coaches in this country,” said Superintendent Brian Monahan. “The honor bestowed on him recognizes his commitment to his wrestlers’ success. Minisink Valley is nationally recognized for our wrestling talent. And it’s all because of what Coach Gallagher does to prepare his wrestlers for the mat.”

Coach Gallagher and school officials

“What Coach Gallagher has done to advance the sport of wrestling is truly an example for others to make note of,” Athletic DirectorTim Bult said. “Coach Gallagher is a humble man, and he’d tell you that his coaching success and any contributions others feel he’s made to this sport are only because of the hard work, dedication and talent of all his past and current players. But his players would say that their success is really due to Coach’s commitment to ensuring they have the skills and experience to leave nothing behind on the mat.”

About Coach Gallagher

Coach Gallagher, a 1977 Minisink Valley graduate, was a Section IX wrestling place finisher in his senior year. Before joining Minisink Valley in 1998 as a physical education teacher and assistant wrestling coach, he coached  wrestling at Middletown High School, Wagner College and Oxford High School.

In 2000, he was named varsity wrestling coach and created one of New York State’s best high school wrestling programs. Coach Gallagher is Section IX’s winningest coach. His teams have amassed incredible achievements, including as New York State Dual Meet Champions in 2015, 2020 and 2022; with runner up titles in 2018 and 2023.  His teams also won individual state championship titles in  2020 and 2023 in addition to 10 Section IX title and seven Section IX dual  meet titles.

Additionally, Coach Gallagher has had four of his teams ranked nationally: 39th in 2015; 41st in 2021;  32nd in 2022; and 49th in 2023.  Through his coaching leadership. 80 Minisink Valley wrestlers have qualified for state tournament play, with 32 players earning awards and nine state champions.

Coach Gallagher was inducted into the New York State Coaching Hall of Fame in 2018; and was named the 2015 National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year for New York State.

Assistant Coach Scott Hendershot called Coach Gallagher “an incredible leader who gets everyone in the program to believe in a common goal. Kevin’s consistency and passion is what makes him an upper echelon coach in New York State and beyond.”

Ethan Gallo and family

Superintendent Monahan described Ethan Gallo as one of the district’s finest examples of student-athlete achievement.

“He’s a two-time New York State wrestling champion and who was ranked in the Top 10 in the country in his weight class,” he added. “Academically, he earned high honor roll status and was a member of the high school’s National Honor Society. Ethan’s athletic achievements are simply outstanding and for Ethan to be honored and recognized by this prestigious organization is an amazing recognition.”

Mr. Bult called Ethan a three-sport (wrestling, football and baseball) success story.

ethan gallo“In wrestling, as a five year starter, his contributions are going to be difficult to ever top,” he added. “Coach Gallagher has said that  Ethan may be the best athlete to ever play at Minisink Valley. I don’t think he’s wrong.”

About Ethan Gallo

Coach Gallagher described Ethan as “unbelievable on the field, on the mat and on the diamond. And he is a great young man, he is the total package.”

As a five-year wrestling starter in the 215-pound weight class, Ethan he helped lead Minisink Valley to  two NYSPHSAA state championships; and instrumental in helping MinisinK Valley to earn two NYSPHSAA dual meet championships.

“Success is no accident,” Ethan said. “It’s hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all love for what you’re doing.”

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Upstate New York Chapter is one of two state chapters of the NWHOF, the other being on Long Island, in Wantagh. The state chapter program was created in 1993 to pay tribute to those coaches, officials and contributors who represent the best qualities of what the sport of wrestling has to offer and who share those characteristics with young people every day.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, based on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., seeks to stimulate the growth and development of wrestling nationwide.  It is the sport’s only national museum featuring an array of sculptures, photographs, banners, plaques, medals, trophies, uniforms and other memorabilia. Additionally, the John T. Vaughan Hall of Honors tell the stories of  great athletes, coaches, officials and contributors, so that the reasons for their success are understood in addition to recognizing their sacrifices and build upon their traditions. The William S. Hein Library houses a collection of books and other materials.