We sat down with head lacrosse coach of Jacksonville University and former PLL star, John Galloway to share his insight on what it takes to get recruited and the steps he has taken to build an outstanding program with recruits just like you.
Like many athletes, John Galloway's lacrosse story started early in his life. He grew up playing at West Genesee, a tradition rich high school program in upstate New York. Staying local, Galloway attended the illustrious Syracuse University where he would have a dominant college career.
At the end of his senior year at Syracuse, he would rise to the ranks of NCAA's and Syracuse’s all-time leader in wins (59) and minutes played by a goalie (3,776).
Posting an overall career record of 59-8, he ranks seventh in all of NCAA history and holds the Syracuse record for best career goals-against average (7.33).
The passion for lacrosse would continue beyond his college career where he immediately joined the Duke University coaching staff the next season. This year marks his 12th year coaching and he currently leads the Jacksonville University Dolphins Men's lacrosse program.
GAS first came in contact with Galloway in 2018 as we produced the Major League Lacrosse Championship Film in Charleston, SC where he starred in goal for the Dallas Rattlers as they battled the Denver Outlaws. We would later meet as we produced the Project South Showcase Film for Thunder Lacrosse where he was in attendance among the nation's top college coaches.
Read the Full College Recruiting Interview Below
John Galloway on College Recruiting and Achieving Success at the College Level
GAS: What have been the determining factors in your success as you’ve taken over the head coaching position at Jacksonville?
John Galloway: Culture is easy to say, but it is the reason why we have had success at JU. Our alumni built something special that our guys believe in.
We pride ourselves on sharing the fabric of the campus and community. We are FEARLESS, we EARN everything we do, we demand to be the most RESPECTED on campus, and we show up every day PREPARED. Those are our four core values that define everything we do.
GAS: What traits do you look for in an athlete who wants to play college lacrosse? What makes an athlete stand out to you?
John Galloway: I believe in the theory of Three S’s: Speed – Skill – Size. You have to have two of the three to be a recruit for us. Then from there, we get into the intangibles of character, work ethic, and competitive toughness.
GAS: What’s the best way for athletes to reach out to college coaches and begin getting noticed?
John Galloway: I believe whole-heartedly that the best version of recruiting is when players recruit institutions.
Sit down and ask yourselves these questions: 1) What level do I want to play? 2) What are my 3 top major choices? 3) How big do I want my classes to be? 4) How far am I willing to go from home?
Those 4 questions will almost always get you down to the 5-10 schools you actually want. From there, get to campus and get in front of their staff!
GAS: How do you and your staff find the right athlete to participate in your program?
John Galloway: The truth is there is no perfect answer. Recruiting is an imperfect science. What is most important is that we get guys we enjoy being around in the office. We have to recruit guys that have the 3 S’s. We have to get guys that WANT JU.
We have great coaching but a big part is for players to be able to just play the game and enjoy the game. We have adult leagues. We have women’s leagues. We have over-35 (years old) leagues. People are still playing because it’s absolutely fun, it’s healthy, and a great way to enjoy the game.
GAS: What’s one thing that high school athletes should be ready for when they get to a college program that they may not be accustomed to?
John Galloway: The biggest transition for our guys are the weight room, the amount of lacrosse played through the year, and the ability to acquire mental reps. I don’t know how much of that you can really plan for other than the weight room!
GAS: How do you see your program growing in the next few years?
John Galloway: I believe our program is in a stage where we focus on stability, consistency, and belief. We believe in the guys in our locker room, and they believe in themselves. They set the standards for our newcomers, and now the trickle down effect of a player led culture begins to take over!
GAS: What is unique about your program and what makes you most excited to lead the next generation of athletes at Jacksonville?
John Galloway: Our program is arguably the most unique in the country:
23 states and two different provinces represented
Only Division I program in the state of Florida
300 days of sunshine – players live at the beach
1 of 3 lacrosse-only facilities in the country
Lacrosse-only playing surface
Most flights in the country not including the Power 5 schools
It is a place where kids can come and be the best version of themselves, have a work-life balance, and compete at the highest level of our sport.
GAS: Any final pieces of advice for athletes who want to play in college?
John Galloway: Don’t be fooled by rankings or timeliness of commitments. My favorite guys to find are the ones who compete with a chip on their shoulder because they were overlooked. Competitive toughness is immeasurable, and we all have it. Those who decide to deploy it are the special ones!
More About Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University will open up their 2023 campaign on January 4, where the Dolphins will welcome John Hopkins to Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins will start the season with three straight home games including matchups with John Hopkins, Duke, and Marist.
In 2022, the Jacksonville University Dolphins finished with a 14-3 record and wrapped up the season ranked #13 in the nation by USA Lacrosse Magazine.