After half-heartedly saying that he’d be interested in a new fulltime recruiting position the Gryphons were contemplating, Todd Galloway started to look at it seriously.
This week it officially became a reality when Galloway moved from the offensive coordinator position he’d held since 2011 to the fulltime recruiting position.
“It was something that kind of started a while back,” Galloway said. “Coach (Stu) Lang kind of presented the idea, not necessarily to me at the start, that, hey, there’s a couple of programs out here that are kind of developing this new role that’s full-time recruiting. I kind of jokingly said that maybe I’ll throw my hat in and it kind of spun from there. At the time back last September, I wasn’t overly serious about it, but it kind of snowballed from there.”
“It’s funny. Maybe in the summertime we talked about doing a full-time recruiter that wasn’t a coach. It was an idea we were kind of playing around with and when it started to look like it was a direction we were going to go, the first person I talked to was Todd,” head coach Kevin MacNeill said. “I said ‘Who do you think would be a good fit?’ We were throwing around some names and just sort of brainstorming who would be a good fit and kind of jokingly, Todd said ‘You know what? I’d probably be a good fit. I’d probably be the best fit.’ Really, considering how well he knows the program, how he knows how I like to recruit and we’ve being doing it for so long together, he’s one of the top recruiters in the country.
“So what (started) as a joke became a little bit like ‘You know what? That’s not a bad idea.’ He wanted to spend some more time with his family and build a little bit more balance there so it was a role he was interested in and that kind of led us to who can we bring in who would do a great job in his absence.”
Jean-Francois Joncas was named Galloway’s successor as the offensive coordinator.
”I just kind of looked at where we’re at as a program and where I’m at with my family – my little guy is now in school and he’s old enough to understand things,” Galloway said. “Speaking to my wife, I said ‘You know what? This could be a good thing. This could be a chance to be home a few more nights a week and maybe be able to take him to school once in a while, which is nice, but still provide us with what we need to provide for our family and still be full-time part of this program.”
While Galloway won’t be as involved with the on-field operations, he isn’t walking away from it, either.
“I’ll still be here and I’ll still help and I’ll still consult where they want and JF has been good at that already, starting with learning faces,” Galloway said. “We kind of saw it as a great thing for the program where we can have another great football mind in here and improve the program by having more support in recruiting fulltime.”
Recruiting isn’t something new for Galloway as the off-season lives of coordinators and head coaches see them on the road meeting with players they hope to see in Gryphon uniforms in the future.
“Kevin and I have kind of been in charge of this the past few years,” Galloway said of recruiting. “Before he became the head coach, I was responsible for the offensive recruiting and he was responsible for the defensive recruiting and it worked.”
While that effort did work, the recruiting process for U Sports football teams is evolving and having someone concentrate on it fulltime will become the norm.
“What we want to do is just bring more organization to the recruiting process,” Galloway said. “Having more organization and with the resources that we have, (we’ll be) able to recruit more nationally and internationally, and also be able to do it in a manner where we’re not killing ourselves.
“I think having someone in this role fulltime is going to bring more structure to the process, a better evaluation process and a better organization to it and it’s going to allow us to divide and conquer better. It’s not I’m just going to take on all the recruits and I’m going to be recruiting everybody, I’m going to manage the recruiting process and try to take more off of the coordinator’s plates so that they can focus on what’s here and they can focus on the program more.”
While Galloway will be on the field at training camp in August, he’s likely to be out watching high school football in mid-September when they kick off their seasons.
“This kind of frees me up to be watching more high school games or to be bringing kids on campus for unofficial visits to watch our practices,” Galloway said.
If potential future Gryphons drop by to watch the team practise, Galloway will likely be the one giving them tours of the university and its athletics facilities as well as standing with them during the practices. In the past, the coaches would get to the recruits on the sidelines when they had a break in their practice duties.
Recruits can visit a school as many times as they want, but as soon as the team they’re visiting buys them a meal or gets them transportation to or from the school, it’s considered an official visit and player can only have one official recruiting visit in his lifetime.
“We kind of encourage them to come up and look around as much as possible because the more points of contact you have with someone, the better,” Galloway said. “We like to save our official visits until after we’ve done all of our qualifications, after we’ve done all our evaluation then we know that’s a kid that has genuine interest in us and we have genuine interest in them.”
During his six seasons as the offensive coordinator, the Gryphons had a 33-15 record in league play and a 5-5 mark in the playoffs. They qualified for the playoffs five of the six years, missing only 2011, and reached the Yates Cup final three times and won it in 2015 to make it to the national semifinal Mitchell Bowl game.
What does Galloway remember most from his time as OC?
“The easy answer would obviously be the Yates Cup, but I think the biggest thing is the kids,” he said. “Obviously, I have a very close connection with the kids. I didn’t ever profess when I was here that I was an excellent coach, but I think one of the things I did well is that I connected very well with the kids. Part of the reason why I think everybody thinks I will do very well in this role is that I connect very well with the kids, I connect very well with their families. Kids are coming to this school because (the parents) trust how we’re going to take care of their kids.
“Our whole motto with it is that all we promise them is that you’re going to leave here a better person. We can’t promise them playing time or anything like that, but we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure they leave here a better person.”
The part of the OC job that never sat well with Galloway was losing.
“You can’t guarantee you’re going to win or anything like that, but you remember the losses more than you remember the wins,” he said. “I was pretty fortunate to have a pretty good coordinating tenure while I was here. We got to experience some success and some sustained success.”
Now he’s happy he made the choice to move into the fulltime recruiting role and he hopes his performance at it brings more success for the Gryphons.
“Part of the biggest thing that’s going to make this transition very easy is that I’m still here,” he said. “It’s not like I wasn’t happy and I’m picking up and I’m leaving or anything. I’m happy. I enjoy it here.”