John Gallagher Hartford Hawks Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Hartford Hawks head coach John Gallagher yells out during the first half against the Baylor Bears in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Hartford Hawks are set to take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers in their season-opening game on Tuesday, but they will do so without head coach John Gallagher after a shocking announcement on Monday afternoon.

According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Gallagher has resigned as the team’s head coach, citing a number of issues going on within the program as his reasoning for the sudden announcement.

In Gallagher’s resignation letter to Hartford president Greg Woodward, he detailed the removal of scholarships from the university and player-safety concerns for his departure.

He also revealed an injury to a player during a preseason game against Dartmouth that was not treated due to the university not bringing any team trainers to the game, which in his words caused “a longer and more painful recovery” for the player.

Gallagher further discussed this incident in an interview with Jonah Karp of Fox 61 News,

“After the Dartmouth scrimmage, we didn’t have a trainer. Our player got hurt, he hyper-extended his knee. I got an e-mail for their parent, and it was rightfully so. At that juncture, the student-athlete welfare was more important than anything. I just felt that player safety would be addressed if I left. If I stayed there, things would have gotten worse.”

This is an extremely saddening reason for John Gallagher to be leaving after 12 seasons with the program, but it certainly seems like the university is in the wrong in this situation.

Regardless, his absence will likely be felt deeply on the court when Hartford plays their first game without him.

The university has not named who will serve as the interim head coach this season at this point.

[Matt Norlander on Twitter, Jonah Karp on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.