Barry Gallup’s name is synonymous with Boston College football. Now in his 36th year as a member of the staff, Gallup, one of the best receivers in school history, served as a BC assistant coach for 20 years (1970-91) and Northeastern’s head coach for nine years (1991-99) prior to returning to his alma mater as assistant athletics director for football operations in May 2000. He was promoted to associate athletics director for football operations in May 2008.
Gallup has dedicated a large part of his life to football in Boston. In early 2007, Gallup received the John Baronian Award for Lifetime Contribution to Football from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston at its annual awards ceremony. In 2014, he was given the George C. Carens Award by the New England Football Writers Association for his contributions to the sport in the area.
After starring on the football field at Swampscott High for legendary coach Stan Bondelevitch, earning All-America honors as a senior, he entered BC in 1965 and would become the greatest receiver in the school’s history before graduating in 1969. He set school marks for receptions with 87 and receiving yards, 1,325 (Mel Briggs eclipsed both of the records in 1973). He had 735 yards and established a season record for catches (46) as a senior (a mark eventually broken by Gallup protégé Brian Brennan in 1983). He also played two years of college basketball for legendary former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy.
Upon college graduation, Gallup turned down an offer to play with the Boston Patriots and began his career in teaching and coaching, working in the Swampscott school district. In 1970, he embarked upon a 20-year coaching career with the Eagles when he became a part-time assistant coach at BC. He became a full-time assistant in 1973, coaching the team’s defensive line. His role changed to receivers and tight ends coach and head recruiting coordinator when Jack Bicknell arrived as head coach in 1981.
As an assistant first to Joe Yukica, then to Ed Chlebek and finally to Bicknell, Gallup established himself as a top recruiter and football strategist. Gallup played a key role in attracting some of the nation’s most talented players to BC, including Heisman Trophy winner and former New England Patriot Doug Flutie, Joe Nash, Fred Smerlas and Peter Cronan. He coached several future professional players while directing the receiving corps, including Brian Brennan (Cleveland Browns), Mark Chmura (Green Bay Packers), Kelvin Martin (Dallas Cowboys), Pete Mitchell (New York Giants), Tom Waddle (Chicago Bears) and the brothers Flutie, Doug and Darren, who both went on to play in the Canadian Football League. As BC’s primary recruiter, he was one of the key builders of bowl-bound BC teams in 1982 (Tangerine Bowl), ’83 (Liberty), ’85 (Cotton) and ’86 (Hall of Fame). He was inducted into BC’s Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1983.
Gallup took over the Northeastern football program in 1991. After going 4-7 his first year, Gallup built the program into a winner that finished with a 6-5 mark in 1996 and an 8-3 record in 1997. He was named New England Coach of the Year in 1997. His 1998 senior class left as the most successful in school history. He left NU with an overall coaching record of 38-60-1. Before returning strictly to coaching in 1998, Gallup had an eventful four-year tenure as NU’s athletics director in which the department successfully earned NCAA certification, initiated a comprehensive strategic plan to achieve gender equity, and added several prominent coaches, including highly respected hockey coach Bruce Crowder and men’s basketball coach Dave Leitao.
Gallup resides in Wellesley with wife, Victoria. Their son Barry Charles Jr. resides in New York City and is engaged to Maggie Rulli ’10.