Northwestern High School coach to be honored for 30 years of service
Apr. 6, 2000
Jeremy Breningstall
Staff Writer

Martin T. Gallagher is being lined up for a surprise later this month.

District 3 school board member Doyle Niemann of Mount Rainier has proposed that the new Northwestern High School baseball field be named the Martin T. Gallagher field in honor of the longtime baseball coach and teacher.

Gallagher, 66, has been a living symbol of sports at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville since the school's opening in 1951.

"The school thought this was a good way to honor Mr. Gallagher for all his years of service," said Niemann.

The resolution for the field's name must be passed by the school board on April 27 for it to take effect, Niemann said.

Now retired, Gallagher lives in College Park.

The school is waiting to inform Gallagher of the news until the measure has been adopted, said Kevin Maxwell, principal at Northwestern.

"He was very involved in the life of the school," Maxwell said. "He's a wonderful guy. A lot of people have known him in the community."

Gallagher spent a full and active career at Northwestern as a student and as a teacher. He was president of the first graduating class at Northwestern in 1952, a captain of the football team and the scorer of the school's very first touchdown.

After graduating from George Washington University in 1957, Gallagher spent his entire teaching career at Northwestern, teaching physical education there until his retirement in 1990.

Gallagher was assistant football coach at Northwestern from 1957 through 1961 and head baseball coach at the school for 23 years from 1957 through 1983. He was also a founding member of the State Association of Athletic Directors and was inducted into the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994.

"He was the kind of guy who would never ask kids to do things he wouldn't do himself," said Bob Young, who coached baseball with Gallagher from 1967 through 1980. "He taught by example. He was very hands-on, very knowledgeable about baseball."

The new baseball field is being built as part of the new Northwestern High School.

The field is being constructed directly behind the old building on Adelphi Road. The new baseball field will be ready to open in the fall, said Maxwell.

In other Northwestern news:

* Discussions are under way to create a Memorial Court as a way to remember students who died during their time at the school, Maxwell said.

Jamal Mohammed, who died earlier this year on the Nicholas Orem Middle School field during the first day of baseball practice, would be one of the students recognized at the proposed Memorial Court, said Maxwell.

* Pepsi has agreed to sponsor a scoreboard for Northwestern's baseball field as part of its partnership with the school, Maxwell said. Scoreboard funding had not been allocated in the county's budget for the new building, Niemann said.