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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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THE WALL: Alumnus Drew Gallagher credits success to high school challenges

Have you ever stopped to catch a glimpse at the Wall of Honor? We continue a series of noted alumni interviews with a profile of a producer at ESPN.
Matteo Ventresca ’25
Drew Gallagher ’95 poses with his Haven baseball jersey at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Drew Gallagher is an Emmy-winning coordinating producer for ESPN. He oversees the production of “College GameDay” (football and basketball), “College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings Show,” “College Football Live,” and the “NFL Draft on ABC.” These shows are produced by ESPN and cover NCAA Football and Basketball.

Gallagher graduated from Strath Haven in 1995 and later from Boston College in 1999. He shared how baseball played a big part in his high school career. 

“I loved high school,” Gallagher said. “First of all, sports and baseball were a highlight of my senior year.” 

When he was a senior, he and his friends started to relax and have fun. As a result, they got closer as a group.

“To have that be the way that I ended my high school career was just a great way to go,” Gallagher said. 

Going into Strath Haven, he had no idea what his career would look like.All he knew was that he liked sports, storytelling, and didn’t want to have a typical office job. 

“I didn’t know I wanted to be in television production. I didn’t know I wanted to be a coordinating producer at ESPN,” he said.

Strath Haven was the starting point of his career. He believes that anything a student wants to do in life can come from Strath Haven.

“Strath Haven, whether you know it or not, is the starting point for whatever path you want to take in your life,” he said.

His friends were a big part of Gallagher’s high school experience. He remembers going to games and hanging out after school with them. 

“This is what 1995 was like: a bunch of guys who thought they were cooler than they really are, all wearing flannel because that’s really what it was like back then,” he said.

He is still friends with many people from his high school years. One of those friends is Mr. Steve Woolery, a physical education teacher at Strath Haven.

“I’m still best friends with my high school friends,” he said. “I will be until the day I die. We have great memories.”

When he was a sophomore, he started writing for The Swarthmorean. He began to cover the Strath Haven football team right after Mr. Kevin Clancy was hired as a coach. He loved being able to follow his football team to the biggest games.

“The football team started finding success under Coach Clancy,” he said. “That was right after Clancy was hired, so playoff games, and they went to the stage, and it was really cool.”

Mrs. Emily Farrell, a former English teacher at Strath Haven, was Gallagher’s mentor. She was the person who pushed him to do the things he enjoys doing today. 

Farrell was a rigorous teacher. She wouldn’t give full credit for writing an essay in the correct format, according to Gallagher. She needed to see proof of thought.

“It’s very easy to do the work, get it down on paper, and just have it checked off as done right,” Gallagher said. “That wasn’t good enough for her.” 

He knows that Farrell’s contribution to his passion led to his success, which eventually earned him the Wall of Honor recognition. 

“If I was at some other network that wasn’t ESPN or didn’t have the stature of ESPN, who knows if I’m on the Wall of Honor,” he said. 

As a big sports fan, he still follows our football team, even though his television show takes him from California to Maine. He’s constantly checking Twitter on Friday nights and watching highlights after games. 

“So early in the season, I might be checking on Twitter. But when we get to play in the state playoffs, I’m watching the video highlights in my hotel room on a Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama,” he said.

He retweeted a video of Sam Milligan rushing into the touchdown to beat Bayard Rustin in 2021. 

“That touchdown run was awesome,” he said. “I mean, that was one of the all-time great play calls and executions.”

In high school, Gallagher faced the obstacle of frequent feedback and criticism. He defeated that by seeing only the good side of it.

“Don’t take it personally. It’s going to make you better. Honest criticism is not a bad thing. Feedback is not a bad thing. It should be welcomed,” Gallagher said.

The marching band is something he loves and remembers. He goes to colleges all around the United States and sees many great marching bands, but he still thinks that the Panther Marching Band is one of the best.

“I see all these great bands, these great scenes, and very few of them can match Strath Haven in terms of size, scope, and just when Strath Haven is playing the cadence,” Gallagher said.

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Matteo Ventresca '25, Managing Editor of Print
Matteo Ventresca is the Managing Editor for Print for The Panther Press. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, as well as playing the trombone.
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    Rita AlbericiMar 14, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Great article and well written. Congratulations! Rita