A Philadelphia Staple: Jack Galloway Awarded the John J. Carlin Service Award

by Sarah Marshall, | Dec 04, 2015
When Jack Galloway of Philadelphia started rowing over 50 years ago, it was a different type of world. During a Boys in the Boat era where collegiate crews raced for the international spots, John Kelly Sr. ruled the Schuylkill River and there was no such thing as “loading the trailer”.

When Jack Galloway of Philadelphia started rowing over 50 years ago, it was a different type of world. During an era where collegiate crews raced for the international spots, and two-time Olympian John Kelly Sr. ruled the Schuylkill River and there was no such thing as “loading the trailer”.

“Back in the day, when you traveled for a duel you weren’t taking your boats along withGalloway3 you,” said Galloway. “You strapped the oars on top of a car and the crew traveled to the home crew’s boathouse. Once you got there, the visiting crew would get first pick of the home crew’s boats and that was the one they would race. Tough luck if the visiting team picked your first varsity eight because you would have to give it up!”

Jack Galloway is this year’s recipient of the John J. Carlin Service Award. Presented to an individual who has made significant commitments in the support of rowing, Galloway’s service to rowing in the Philadelphia area has been tremendous.

With a rowing career that spans over 40 years, Jack Galloway graduated from La Salle University in 1957 and Georgetown Law School in 1963. While a member of La Salle crew, Galloway was a part of the historic varsity eight that would be crucial in the La Salle winning the Dad Vail Regatta six times in eight seasons.

Rowing has continued to stay an important aspect of his life as Galloway as served as the Chairman of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee for more than 20 years.

Galloway2“While I was coaching at Villanova, the coach from St. Josephs, George Toland, told me that I should pick up with the Dad Vail and take the free spot as the secretary treasurer of the Vail. His brother in law happened to be the chairman of the Vail so he was able to set it up for me. I was able to remain active in rowing through the Vail without being on the water all the time."

With two years as secretary treasurer under his belt, Galloway would go on to inherit the roles of the chairman after the previous holder fell ill and passed away. Galloway quickly brought in some reliable back up to help him with his new position, his old crewmates.

“The La Salle guys really became part and parcel to ‘if you win this damn thing you need to do your part in keeping it alive’ so the La Salle guys became the active force from becoming the chairman or president or secretary and the various positions in there.

“Bring in the fellows you know who will help you conduct the event so that it can be the best it can be. Recently we have drawn away from the days of hiring all my old La Salle buddies and really tried to expand the board so that it better reflects the national attention the regatta receives now. Running Dad Vails is certainly not a one man band, it is how you put the institution together.”

The Vail, originally founded for non-IRA schools in the early 30’s as a “moving” regatta finally took hold as a Philadelphia staple event in the early 50’s and has become the largest regular intercollegiate rowing event in the United States, drawing over a hundred colleges and universities from North America.

“We all know that in all life’s undertaking that change is inevitable. The Dad Vail was the first regatta to accept women as a full-fledged, even competitor, at the same distance and at the same time as the main event. The Dad Vail took women on in seventy-six and integrated them fully. We went through the whole growth thing asking questions like ‘do we distinguish a lightweight woman rower – gosh is there a lightweight woman rower can we even talk about this?!’.

I think it is a remarkable thing – that the Vail was eager to take on that challenge. I would say in the future that we will continue to see growth in the area. Even our women volunteers, one would be wise not to get in their way because they accomplish what they set out to do no matter what. Ladies don’t mess around with their rowing.”

As a coach, Galloway recently completed his 14th year as the high school rowing coach for the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

In his professional career, Galloway has held many prestigious titles after spending several years as a naval aviation line officer in the Pacific Fleet. Galloway has served as the Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia, as a Vice President for Gulf Oil Corporation and currently consults for a major natural gas distribution company engaged in new environmental ventures, including the decontamination of dredged material from the port of New York and New Jersey harbor.

Galloway is also a founder of Chesapeake Beneficial Material Corporation that expects to be engaged in the decontamination of dredged material in the Chesapeake Bay area.

The USRowing Annual Awards Reception, presented by Nathan Benderson Park, is the last chance to honor the best in the year of rowing. This year's reception will be held Saturday, December 5, 2015 in the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. The night will begin with a cocktail hour, followed by a presentation of awards.
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