One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about friends of my friends. The post below is the story on a friend of a friend for January 20, 2015.
Of all the coaches that I have been associated with I probably owe the most to Joe Gallagher. He hired me in 1977 and was extremely helpful, loyal, and knowledgeable as I progressed over my career.
If you know Joe you also know that he is just an amazing man to be around. I like to tell people that it is pretty cool just ONCE in your life that someone will tell you the best time I have had or the funniest thing I ever saw happened with you. Well for Joe Gallagher that list of people who tell him that goes on to infinity.
I know so many people that will tell me the best night of my life was with Joe Gallagher. Or they may say the funniest thing that ever happened to me was with Joe. I could do an entire month of posts just on Joe Gallagher, his friends, the antics, the stories, and his tremendous loyalty to each person he ever met is an award winning book someone should write.
|Joe is currently semi-retired and living in North Myrtle Beach, SC. He coached in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics as an Assistant Coach.Joe as a basketball coach was a thorough and dedicated teacher of the game. He has a vast knowledge on player development focused primarily on play in the post area.
Prior to coaching in the NBA he spent 2 years as head coach at Methodist College (1973-75), 3 years at UNC Pembroke (1975-78) and 1 year at Belmont Abbey College (1991-92). Joe also did two tours of duties as an assistant coach at the University of Richmond (1979-86 and 1992-96), Boston College (1986-91), UNC Greensboro (1996-99) and Campbell University (1999-2002). As an assistant coach at the University of Richmond, Gallagher helped guide the Spiders to two NCAA Tournament appearances as well as a pair of NIT berths. The 1986 Richmond squad, under the direction of head coach Dick Tarrant, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and in the process eliminated an Auburn team that included future NBA stars Charles Barkley and Chuck Person.
A 1968 graduate of UNC Pembroke, he posted four-year averages of 20.1 points and 13.3 rebounds per game, and was honored by his collegiate alma mater in 1980 and 2010 with an induction into the school’s Hall of Fame and No. 24 jersey retirement. Joe is still the school’s all-time career scorer with 2,161 points. Following his collegiate playing career, Gallagher was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels (ABA) in 1968.
Gallagher also served four years in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1964.
Joe while he was at Pembroke serving as Head Coach really monitored the academic success of his players. One of the UNCP professor he developed a friendship was Dr. Robert “Bob” Reising. Joe stated that Bob Reising was known as a professor who would spend extra time with student athletes that wanted to get extra help with their writing. It wanted to stay on top of his players classroom assignments that caused the story between Bob and Joe Gallagher.
Dr. Reising came to UNC Pembroke in 1971 after spending time as a faculty member and coach in the Carolinas. He is retired today and is recognized as a faculty emeritus. At UNCP he became recognized as the leading scholar on Jim Thorpe.
Bob Reising starred as a catcher on Michigan State University’s 1954 Big Ten Conference championship team and loved the sport of baseball. He went on to become the head baseball coach at Duke and Furman universities and The University of South Carolina prior to arriving at UNCP.
After retirement he also co-authored with Brett Friedlander a book titled Chasing Moonlight has been hailed for its portrayal of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, the doctor and baseball player immortalized in the iconic film “Field of Dreams.”
The Friend-JOE GALLAGHER
The Friend of the Friend-BOB REISING
Joe Gallagher and Bob Reising-The English Course and Garbage Truck
Joe was a lot of things but being a careful driver was not one of his strong suits. In the winter of 1975 Joe had used the UNCP Athletic Station Wagon to take a basketball recruiting trip to Philadelphia. During that trip the vehicle was parked on a Philly side street and got side swiped.
When Joe got back to Pembroke he had to report the damaged vehicle to Lacey Gane who was Joe’s college coach for three years and the current Director of Athletics. Lacey was fuming and really upset with Joe and banned him from driving a UNCP vehicle. Lacey didn’t believe Joe’s story and thought Joe was actually at fault due to past vehicle incidents. After all Joe was guilty of once having all of his furniture fall off the back of pick-up truck.
Lacey and Joe had a unique relationship they could be steaming mad at each other one day and the next day bygones were actually bygones. Well in the spring of 1976 Lacey had removed the vehicular ban on Joe after the station wagon had gone under some body work from the Philly side swipe.
Joe checked the station wagon out for the first time to go on a recruiting trip back to Philly. He was still on campus near the Livermore Library in the station wagon when he spotted Dr. Bob Reising walking on the passenger side of the car. Joe was receiving reports that a player in Bob’s class was struggling and with two weeks to finals Joe wanted to get an update. He screeched on the brakes and blew the horn to get Dr. Reising’s attention.
Joe leaned over the front seat and began to try and manually roll down the passenger side window. Dr. Reising was frantically waving his arms and not coming to the car. Joe thought maybe he was in a hurry for class but wanted to get that window down and shout out something to Bob. Bob just kept waving his arms.
At about the moment Joe got the window rolled down two things happened simultaneously. First Bob Reising got a look of utter disbelieve on his face; and second the university’s garbage truck backed over the entire front end of the station wagon. The garbage truck was backing out of the alley beside the library removing trash.
Joe was momentarily stunned and realized he could not exit the station wagon thru the driver side door. He climbed his 6’8”’ frame over the front seat and exited the car out the passenger side door and examined the extensive damage with Bob Reising who now told his friend I was waving for you to get out of the way didn’t you see me?
Joe could not believe the damage to the car. The entire front end was flat to the ground. The two front tires looked like pancakes. The car was totaled.
Joe walked the 75 yards from where he picked up the car and marched into Lacey Gane’s office and broke the news to him. Lacey grabbed the keys slammed them down on his desk and told Joe “You are the reason I’m bald and have got ulcers” Get out of my office.
Two days later they were drinking beer together.