A longtime head girls basketball coach in the Philadelphia region resigned on Monday in the aftermath of a scandal focused on his alleged attempts to scare collegiate recruiters away from opposing athletes in the area.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Archbishop Wood girls basketball coach John Gallagher tendered his resignation Monday after his name was entered into the public record during a lawsuit filed by former Neumann-Goretti girls basketball coach Letty Santarelli, who has sued her predecessor for a sum of $50,000, citing slander, defamation of character and libel.
Gallagher was dragged into the suit because of his own cooperation with Santarelli’s predecessor, Stephen Skedzielewski, who was ousted from the position in 2012. According to the lawsuit, malicious emails from an IP address in Gallagher’s home were sent to Texas women’s basketball coach Karen Aston defaming a Neumann-Goretti girls star and claiming that the team’s three most dynamic players were all Nigerian natives who were being ensconced in the Philadelphia area strictly to compete for Neumann-Goretti. It is unknown how Gallagher responded to those claims when he was called on Monday, but it is clear why Gallagher would have been motivated to act.
After three state titles in four seasons, Gallagher’s Wood squad was finally knocked off its perch in 2013-14 by Santarelli’s Neumann-Goretti team. In the process, Wood fell to Neumann-Goretti twice, each time in dominant fashion. The goal of Gallagher’s alleged emails was equally clear: He hoped to have the Neumann-Goretti players ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Archbishop Wood officials moved quickly to fill the school’s newly created opening, with junior varsity coach Mike McDonald elevated to take over for Gallagher, according to The Intelligencer.