Familiarity already exits with the players and new Carmichaels High School football coach.
The district’s board promoted Mikes’ defensive coordinator Ron Gallagher to the head coach at a board meeting in January.
“I was super excited,” Gallagher said. “The kids came to me (about applying for the position) and that sparked an interest I already had. Them coming to me meant a lot. I have their respect.”
Gallagher spent the last five seasons on former head coach Ryan Krull’s staff as an assistant. Krull, who spent seven seasons as the head coach before resigning in November, went 37-31 and made the Class A playoffs four times. Carmichaels played the past two seasons in Class 2A, finishing 2-7 in 2018 and 4-5 last year, missing the playoffs in both.
With the new realignment, Carmichaels has been bumped down to Class A for the next two seasons.
“I’m taking over at a good time,” Gallagher said, but not in reference to dropping down in classification. “Ryan built a really good program. I knew I was already in a program and not having to completely revamp one. I need to continue building mindsets and lessons already in the program, like teamwork and holding one another accountable.”
Gallagher spent two seasons as an assistant under longtime Carmichaels coach John Menhart. He previously served as an assistant for nine years at neighboring Jefferson-Morgan, one year at Amherst County High School in Virginia and two seasons at North Hagerstown High School in Maryland.
Similar to Krull, who took over after spending years as an assistant under Menhart, Gallagher said knowing the players – he is also the middle school principal – will help in the transition.
“As an administrator, I’m vested into the kids here,” Gallagher said. “Coaches coming in from the outside have it difficult. I already know the background of the kids. It’s a huge advantage.”
Gallagher is happy the Mikes are in Class A, mostly because of regaining rivalries within Greene County and creating the opportunity for more fans to easily travel to games.
“I don’t like making excuses, and we never did,” Gallagher said of being in 2A. “We are going to collaboratively battle to win football games. We weren’t super successful last year but knew it was going to be challenging. Bring whatever comes our way we are going to take one day at a time.”