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Stanley Galloway

Sport: Football

Induction Year: 1989

Stanley Galloway was known for his Knute Rockne-type locker room oratory during his 14 seasons as head football coach at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn't.

Onece, Galloway was late for a prep-game pep talk. He told the Lions he had been to the hospital visiting a nephew who was seriously ill. “Go out there and win this one for him,” he implored.

Of course, the nephew was non-existent—and so was the Lion's offense in a sluggish first half.

With his team trailing at the intermission, Galloway decided to change his psychological strategy.

“Forget the little son of a bitch!' he yelled. “Go out there and play football like you can!”

Galloway launched his football coaching career at Donaldsonville High in 1939 after turning down an offer from Mt. Hermon High, which didn't have a football team, because the people wanted it to be a year-round job—including going to church on Sundays.

“I go to church,” Galloway told them when he turned down the job, “but I don't sing in the choir.”

He moved to Hammond in 1941 and Bogalusa a year later, leading Lumberjacks to a 12-0 season in 1947 capped by a 27-6 victory over Lake Charles in the Class AA state finals.

Bolton High of Alexandria was his next stop, but he didn't stay there long enough to coach a football game. He moved to Bolton in the spring of 1951 and took the head coaching position at Southeastern (his alma mater) before 1951 reason rolled around.

In 14 years at Southeastern, his teams won or shared the Gulf State Conference championship six times—including four of his first six seasons—and finished second five times.

The highlight of his college coaching career came when quarterback Ray “Coon” Porta led the 1954 Lions to a perfect 9-0 season that included a 13-7 victory over Southern Mississippi. With Southern Mississippi defeating Alabama and Alabama beating LSU, Southeastern used comparative scores to claim the unofficial “state championship” that year.

Called “Sobbin' Stan” by opponents because of his tendency to wave a crying towel before a game, Galloway compiled an 84-42-4 record at Southeastern and was named ‘Coach of the Year” four times.

He went into the coaching profession by the process of elimination.

“I never thought about coaching while I was going to Southeastern,” he recalled. ‘But I really didn't qualify for anything else, so I just drifted that way.”

Former players recalled him as a stern taskmaster who conducted well-organized practice sessions with the emphasis on hard work, discipline and repetition.

His teams did it until they did it right, regardless of how many times they had to do it over.

Galloway was selected by the United States Air Force to lecture at Air Force football clinics in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1962 and in the South Pacific in 1963.

He maintained complete control of his players. A two-year starter at halfback and safety, Joel Smith, recalled winning GCS “Back of the Week” honors after he broke into the lineup in a game with Southwestern Louisiana.

“The next two weeks,” he recalled, “I was on the bench. Coach Galloway wanted to make sure that I kept all the publicity in the proper perspective.”

“I believe sincerity, hard work and preparation are the keys.” Galloway said of his success at Southeastern.

“Our recruiting was special. We had to sell the coaches and our personality. You have to get good players. You don't win the Kentucky Derby with a mule. We had a lot of success with recruiting and developing players, some of whom had no other place to go.”

The Tulane job was offered to him, but he decided not to take it. When LSU fired Gaynell Tinsley after the 1954 season, there was considerable support for Galloway. But he didn't pursue it. “The people at LSU making the decisions wanted a military man,” he said, “and they got him.”

He was referring to Paul Dietzel, an assistant coach at West Point before he succeeded Tinsley at LSU.

After he retired from coaching, Galloway applied the same philosophy and organizational skills to his job as the first Commissioner of State Colleges and Universities under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Education—a position he held from 1965 to 1973.

Under his direction, the Board doubled the coaching staffs of all state colleges and universities, doubled the number of scholarships allowed, initiated a building program for athletic facilities at state schools, made membership in the NCAA mandatory and made the position of sports information director mandatory at each school.

“We tried to get everyone on the same level,” he said later. “But we may have done too much. With the taste of success and the increased coaching staffs, some people had even bigger ideas. Louisiana Tech and Southwestern Louisiana, especially, wanted to do more.”

After Tech and USL pulled out of the conference, the league folded.

From 1973 through 1979, Galloway served as the first commissioner of the Gulf South Conference.

Born on July 1, 1916, in Blond, La., Galloway attended Lyon High (now Covington High), playing football and basketball. He is a 1939 graduate of Southeastern.

Galloway is married to the former Marjorie Ann Himel. They have two daughters—Noel Lynn Wade of Anchorage, Alaska, and Sheryl Ann Rifkin of Hartford, Conn.—and one son, Thomas Allan ‘Tag” Galloway of Natchez, Miss.

He is a member of the Southeastern Louisiana University Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1984. In 1989, he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

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