November 14, 2019

Dick Gallagher Receives 2019 Project Play WNY Thank You Coach Lifetime Service Award

Project Play WNY hosted its inaugural Thank You Coach event for over 100 local youth sports coaches at the Nov. 3 Buffalo Bills game. As part of the event, the first-ever Thank You Coach Lifetime Service Award was given to Dick Gallagher.

For over 35 years, Coach Dick has used radio and television as his platform to support, recognize and advocate for Western New York’s student-athletes and coaches.  Dick’s message to fans and athletes is always positive and represents the ideals that Project Play WNY hopes to emphasize across our eight-county region.

As past president of Joe McCarthy baseball and several youth sports camp and scholarship committees, Dick’s passion for youth sports in WNY is unmatched. In 1983, to provide greater recognition of student-athletes, Dick began publishing WNY High School Sports (formerly WNY High School Football).  He stayed on as publisher and editor until 2010.  After the publication ended its run, Dick became a web producer with a concentration on high school football, a role he still holds today, for Channel 2 News. In 1986, Dick began coordinating an annual high school football awards banquet, which has provided thousands of awards to student-athletes since its inception.  He has also coordinated over 22 other banquets for boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball and softball, honoring student-athletes who excelled athletically and academically.

A 1959 graduate of Haverling High School, Dick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kings College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Buffalo. Dick spent 42 years working in the addiction treatment field. 

A colleague once remarked, in reference to Gallagher, “In every young person there is potential. This is one man who won’t rest until he finds it.” Dick has been honored with countless community awards for his work, and on Nov. 3, we recognized him as the first recipient of the Project Play WNY Thank You Coach Lifetime Service Award for his many years of service to WNY youth sports and for lending his assistance and expertise to launch the Project Play WNY Train All Coaches Working Group. 

Dick resides in Williamsville with his wife, Ann.  They have three children, Michael, Christine (deceased), and Richard; and seven grandchildren, Dillon, Morgan, Austin, Liam, Mary Claire, Mia and Maeve. 

Thank you, Coach Gallagher, for all you have done for WNY youth sports!