Viera’s Gallagher leaving for AD job in Michigan


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Chris Gallagher poses with the Barbara Caywood Cape Coast Conference All-Sports trophy, which Viera High won for the sixth time last year. After eight years as the school's athletic director, Gallagher is leaving for a job in Michigan.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

As the athletic director at Viera High for the past eight years, Chris Gallagher has overseen a program that has grown into one of Brevard County’s best.

Now, the 46-year-old is going back to his roots.

Gallagher is leaving Viera to take a job as the athletic director at Croswell-Lexington High School in Croswell, Michigan. The school is located in Sanilac County, which is where both he and his wife grew up, and will allow them to be just 30 minutes away from their families.

“It was a very hard decision to make because my wife and I have been here for 22 years and developed many great relationships through church, work, and in the community,” Gallagher wrote in a text message.

“Ultimately, we weighed the options of what was best for our family and the opportunity professionally and we had nothing to lose and everything to gain being close to our entire family support system and the opportunity for growth professionally.”

Gallagher leaves a Viera High program that won its second straight – and sixth overall -- Barbara Caywood Cape Coast Conference All-Sports trophy that included a school-record 13 district championships.

Of the 23 varsity teams Viera fielded, six won or shared a CCC title.

Gallagher said he would take many memories from his time at Viera, “watching so many programs, really all programs, flourish at one time or another.”

The football program, which had not finished above .500 before Gallagher became AD in 2011, has now won five straight district titles and went to the Class 7A state championship game in 2015.

Along the way, the team made trips to play three out-of-state games, including a 2015 trip to national powerhouse Allen, Texas.

Viera’s girls soccer program won back-to-back state titles in 2015 and ’16 and the girls golf team won the state title in 2014 for its second state crown.

Gallagher also cited the wrestling team’s 2013 Cape Coast Conference championship and seeing the baseball team win its first district title in 2012.

But the school’s athletic success is not all Gallagher is proud of. The school won nine FHSAA academic team championships and two FHSAA Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship awards.

In addition, he said working with Viera Pizza and the Eat My Crust 5K was “tremendous because their support was so beneficial to our athletic department.”

Viera High principal Sarah Robinson praised Gallagher for his contributions to the school.

“Chris has had a significant impact on our athletic programs during his time as athletic director,” Robinson wrote in an email. “Chris served our school with excellence and integrity.

“I wish him the best on the next part of his journey and I am confident he will have a positive impact on the students and community that he will be working with, just as he did at Viera High School.”

While Viera looks to find a replacement for Gallagher, he will be heading to Michigan on Friday, where he is expected to begin his position at Croswell-Lexington High (which has 700 students in grades 9-12) on Aug. 5.

He leaves behind a long history of success.

“I’ve enjoyed working with so many outstanding student-athletes, great coaches and an administration that supported athletics through the years,” he wrote. “This was without question our most difficult decision to make as a family but we decided to embrace the opportunity to be close to family and share the special moments in life.”