Peter Gallagher is entering his 18th season as the head football coach at Ursinus. Since taking over the program in 2000, Gallagher has become the program's all-time leader in coaching wins and guided the Bears to a Centennial Conference title in 2010.
On September 11, 2010, Gallagher became the program's all-time leader in victories with a 10-7 triumph over Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster.
Gallagher is the 27th head coach in the program's celebrated 125-year history and has paced the sidelines for 172 games, passing Ursinus Hall of Fame coach and former Dean of Students Dick Whatley for most games coached in 2013.
The 2017 season began with a run of five consecutive victories, including a stunning upset of Johns Hopkins that ended the Blue Jays' lengthy overall (45) and Centennial Conference (40) winning streaks. The Bears finished 6-4, registering their ninth winning season in the past 12 campaigns behind a strong ground game that led the conference in rushing offense and rushing touchdowns.
Nine members of the 2017 squad received All-Centennial Conference honors, bringing the total to 131 since Gallagher arrived in Collegeville. Included among that group was freshman Samuel Ragland, who became the first player in program history to be named Rookie of the Year.
The Bears established several new team records in 2016. Senior quarterback Sal Bello completed 39 passes in a 33-32 loss to Moravian, during which junior wide receiver Carmen Fortino matched the program mark with 12 catches. Additionally, quarterback Thomas Garlick set school records for passing yards by a freshman with 348 against Juniata.
The 2015 campaign began on a high note, as the Bears defeated Division II Millersville, 17-9, in a five-overtime season-opening marathon. It marked the longest game in CC history, landing one extra session short of the Division III record, and was Ursinus' first victory over an opponent from a higher NCAA division since a 28-0 shutout of Division I-AA La Salle in 2007.
Additionally, quarterback Sal Bello set the school record for passing yards in a game with 465 in a 33-17 victory over McDaniel.
The Bears posted a school-record sixth consecutive winning season in 2014, finishing 7-3 with a 6-3 standing in CC play. Senior quarterback Kevin Monahan and senior wide receiver Darius Jones established new school records in the season finale against Dickinson, with Monahan passing for 442 yards and Jones racking up 263 receiving yards. Steve Ambs led the league in tackles for loss and was named a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award.
The 2013 seniors topped the 2012 class for most wins in school history, boasting a career 27-13 mark. Chris Curran and Jerry Rahill rewrote the record books with their performances over their four years, with Curran graduating as the all-time leader in passing yards (5,438), completions (428), and touchdowns in a season (25).
Rahill holds the career mark for receptions with 187, receiving yards in a season with 1,076, and receptions in a game with 12. Kicker Eric Boyer broke his own record by hitting 11 field goals and led the Centennial in field goals made for the second consecutive season. Eight players were voted to the 2013 All-Centennial Conference team.
During the 2012 season, the Bears set a school record passing for 25 TDs while leading the NCAA in fewest turnovers. Currran set another school mark with a 93-yard touchdown pass to Jones on October 19 versus Susquehanna.
Defensive back Chris Rountree became just the second player in Centennial Conference history to be named first-team all-conference all four years of his career, and Boyer set a school record with ten field goals, becoming the first Ursinus kicker to lead the CC in field goals and scoring since 1996.
The 2011 season was a historic one for the Bears, as Ursinus played on newly renovated Patterson Field and hosted the first night game in school history on September 3, 2011 against Albright.
Ursinus captured its first Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Year award as senior linebacker Greg Martell was selected by the coaches for that honor. Martell was also named the ECAC’s South Region Defensive Player of the Year marking, another first for the program.
Senior defensive back Shane Eachus was selected as the school’s sixth first team Academic All-American, while senior wide receiver Nick Giarratano set the school’s all-time mark with 22 touchdown receptions, surpassing Ron Floyd’s previous record of 19. Following the 2011 season, All-Centennial recognition came in double digits for the third consecutive year as the Bears placed 13 players on the prestigious team selected by the conference’s head coaches.
Gallagher led the 2010 team to an 8-2 record, including a 7-2 conference mark. The seven conferences wins tied a school record set by the 1996 squad. During the championship season, Ursinus attracted national attention by being ranked or receiving votes for the majority of the season, rising as high as #21 in the AFCA coaches poll. Fifteen players were named to the 2010 All-Centennial team as the Bears won their first Centennial title since 1996.
Gallagher guided the Bears to a 6-5 record in 2009. Boasting a 6-2 conference mark, the Bears competed in the postseason for the second time in Gallagher’s tenure. The six conference wins were the most in Centennial competition for the Bears since 1999.
The 2007 Bears finished 7-3 with a 5-3 mark in Centennial Conference play, marking the first time Ursinus had back-to-back winning seasons since 2000-01.
Gallagher brought the Bears to the post season for the first time in 2006, competing in the ECAC Southwest Bowl. The 8-3 squad also tallied a 4-2 Centennial Conference mark, finishing second in the CC.
In 2001, Gallagher led Ursinus to a 6-4 record, their third consecutive winning season. In doing so, he became the first Bears’ coach since 1931 (Jack McAvoy) to post a winning mark in his rookie season. Gallagher’s 2001 squad produced the nation’s leading rusher, two All-Americans, and the school’s first-ever Gagliardi Trophy finalist, given annually to the top player in Division III football.
Gallagher came to Collegeville from the University of Rochester, where he served as the Yellowjackets' defensive coordinator. In 2000, Gallagher’s defense was ranked nationally in all four major categories as Rochester won a share of the UCAA title. The Yellowjacket defense broke two school records, produced an All-American, and had a player named rookie of the year in all three of its affiliated conferences.
Prior to his appointment at Rochester, Gallagher enjoyed successful coaching stints at Dartmouth College, Wagner College and Georgetown University. Gallagher received his baccalaureate degree as a double major in business and government from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1993. He earned his M.B.A. from Wagner College in 1997. While at Wesleyan, Gallagher earned All-West Virginia Athletic Conference honors and was a preseason All-American.
Gallagher has been an enthusiastic supporter of the “Be the Match” program through the National Bone Marrow Registry. Ursinus has hosted a registry program over the last few years, and former running back Teddy Conrad was recently selected as a match for a 63-year old woman battling leukemia. Gallagher has sat on the NCAA Division III South Region ranking committee and is an active member of the American Football Coaches Association, where he holds a vote on the national poll.
Gallagher resides in New Hanover Township with his wife Stacy and two daughters, Kaleigh and Madison.