Gallagher headed to state wrestling Hall of Fame

Kevin Gallagher has built Minisink Valley into a consistently, state-ranked program since he took over as head coach in the 2000-2001 season.

Recently discovered that Gallagher spent the previous two seasons as a volunteer coach for the program after having a successful run at Oxford Academy in the Binghamton. Gallagher was informed Wednesday that he will be inducted into the New York state wrestling Hall of Fame on Feb. 24 at the Times Union Center in Albany before the state finals.

Gallagher will join Section 9 coaches Don Blaine (Cornwall), Jeff Cuilty (who retired last season after coaching at Newburgh Free Academy and Wallkill) and Steve Fischbein (Monroe-Woodbury) in the Hall of Fame. He is 426-98 in his career at Minisink Valley, Oxford and Middletown.

“It just shows how many good people that are around you, guys like Scott (Hendershot, Minisink Valley assistant coach),” Gallagher said. “He’s the best. It’s humbling.”

Gallagher was drawn back to Minisink Valley to teach and coach at his alma mater.

“When I was at Oxford, I liked it a lot and there was only probably one other place that I would go and it was Minisink,” Gallagher said. “I always thought about coming back and I wanted to. I almost came back a couple of times. It just wasn’t time yet. The time was right when I came back.”

Minisink Valley has won five Section 9 tournament team title, a Section 9 Duals title in the 2014-15 season and finished that season ranked as the state’s No. 1 Division I (large school) under Gallagher. A.J. Aeberli won the school’s second state title in 2016.

For more on Gallagher’s honor, check the Times Herald-Record’s print and online editions Saturday.

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