08 Aug Dan Galford named St. Peter’s new X-C, track & field head coach
Special from Staten Island Advance / SILive.com
Published on August 2, 2019
By: Charlie De Biase Jr.
Dan Galford and Vinny Giles are trading places.
Galford has replaced Giles as St. Peter’s cross country and track & field head coach, but the latter will remain with both programs as an assistant, principal Michael Cosentino has announced.
Galford, the former Monsignor Farrell X-C and track star, assisted Giles since graduating from Stony Brook University two years ago and with Giles needing more time for personal reasons, the two have switched positions.
“I’m definitely excited. It’s a real honor to be named head coach at St. Peter’s,” said Galford. “When (Cosentino and athletic director Mark DeCristoforo) let me know their visions of the school’s future, I 100 percent wanted to be a part of it moving forward.
“It’s a great privilege to be leading a program with a storied history on Staten Island, as well as the CHSAA and New York (state) as well.”
With the endorsement of Giles, both Cosentino and DeCristoforo were pleased Galford accepted the position.
“Dan was a great runner in high school and division 1 (college) himself and, as an assistant the last few years, he’s developed a good rapport with the kids,” said Cosentino. “He’s put in his time and we feel he’s ready to take over and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do to continuing building our track & field and cross country programs.”
“I don’t know if I’ve seen another coach that’s in the building (at St. Peter’s) as much as Dan is — and that was as an assistant,” added DeCristoforo, who recently took over as SP’s AD. “The effort he put in on a daily basis as an assistant led us to believe that he’s the right man for the job. He’s always here early and stays late and that fits the role we like to see.
“We’re also thrilled (Giles) is staying on as (Galford’s) assistant. He’s forgot more than I know about (X-C and track & field) and he endorsed (Galford) getting the job, so we’re happy to have both coaches in our program.”
Galford, the only boy named a X-C Advance All Star four times, was also a two-time All-Star in track & field during his high school days. The 24-year-old excelled in the mile and as a member of dominant 4×800 and distance medley relay teams with the Lions.
He also enjoyed success at Iona College for two seasons before transferring and graduating from Stony Brook.
He too is pleased that Giles stayed on board as an assistant.
“Vinny is still on the staff as our sprint coach,” said Galford. “And that was important to me. I look at him as a mentor. He’s been coaching for longer than I’ve been alive and, of course, I’m going to pick his brain because I know there’s going to be a learning curve (as I transition into being head coach).”
LEAVING HIS MARK
Galford is looking to put his mark on the X-C and track & field programs by making some changes that he believes will enhance both.
For starters, the West Brighton resident added a freshman coach in former Farrell teammate John Lucchesi.
“We want the kids to develop year in and year out over the course of the four years and having a freshman coach will help do that,” said Galford. “I was ecstatic when (Cosentino and DeCristoforo) agreed to that hiring.
Second, Galford believes in sharing athletes with other St. Peter’s programs and lastly, he’ll be bringing members of the X-C team to camp later this month.
“Sharing athletes is something that will help our program because not only will they contribute to our team, but they’ll work on skills that will help them for the other programs they compete for,” said Galford. “(As for camp), I think it’s one of the most important things (a program like this) can have. The kids will be in an isolated area where they can just focus on their craft.”
DeCristoforo likes the direction his new coach is bringing the X-C and track & field programs.
“He’s come up with a few fantastic ideas that jumped out at me,” said the athletic director. “Between having a freshman coach, sharing athletes and taking the team to camp, we think they’re all good things that will help the program and get the numbers up.”
Galford, meanwhile, said making his team better athletes won’t be his only priority.
“My theory is simple. I obviously want to help them run faster, but to help them grow as people too,” he said. “It’s my goal to develop our athletes into well-rounded, young men.”