Behind the Whistle: Three Questions for Kelly Gallagher


Kelly Gallagher is the head women's lacrosse coach at the University of Tampa.

This story initially appeared on Behind the Whistle, the official blog of the IWLCA, and is being republished with permission from the organization. Kelly Gallagher is the head coach at the University of Tampa.

[Editor’s Note: From time to time we will feature a short Q&A with an IWLCA member coach. The format will be one question about lacrosse, one question about life and one fun question.]

1. Name the accomplishment in your coaching career that you are most proud of and why.

Starting the program at the University of Tampa is a huge accomplishment and honor for me, but I am most proud of our 2019 team for earning the inaugural University of Tampa Athletic Department “Stand As One” award.

This is voted on by the UT SAAC and awarded every year to the team that is the most supportive of our other athletic teams and athletes. Our team that year made it a priority to support their fellow student-athletes throughout the entire year. I’m proud that they were recognized for their effort (We did also get our first bid to the NCAA tournament later that evening, which was also pretty cool!).

2. What traits do you see in student-athletes that you think most accurately predict success after college?

Self-awareness, growth mindset and a good sleep schedule.

3. If you were the “Supreme Ruler” of women’s lacrosse, what is the first thing you would change and how exactly would you improve it?

Supreme Ruler? That seems like a lot. I’m can’t choose just one, so here are three things:

  • I would give every collegiate student-athlete a gap year between their freshmen and sophomore or sophomore and junior year to take the year off and coach. Teaching the game, planning practice, making subs during a running clock game, entertaining three kids that don’t “seem” to want to be there and having everyone ask you when/what you are eating again … there are a LOT of opportunities for growth!

  • I would love to see more of our collegiate student-athletes take advantage of the College Officials Players Academy (CPOA) during the summer months. Yes, we need more officials at every level of the game and in every part of the country. Officiating offers another opportunity to learn our game from another perspective. It’s a great way to stay in shape. It’s a really great way to give back to the game of lacrosse. And a pretty nice side hustle … $1/min for 50-minute games in the summer!

  • I would like one more day added to each recruiting tournament and convention for just catching up with everyone. Coaching is one of the most fun professions, but most of my closest friends live all over the country and I would love an extra day to just catch up and reconnect with those that inspire me!


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