Joe Galloway

Joe Galloway

The first impact on young people came not in America but in the North African country of Morocco.

There, Joe Galloway, U.S. Navy seamen first class, served at least three concurrent roles: serviceman, player-coach for one of the elite base squads and, foreshadowing more than four decades helping lead and shape young people, youth coach in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

“I started coaching little kids in Morocco when I was stationed there, and I just enjoyed it,” said Galloway, an 2019-20 TSSAA Distinguished Service Award recipient. “When you’re doing something where you look happy and enjoy it, and children see that, it’s attractive to them.”

Galloway’s nearly four-year stint in the Navy likewise is the genesis of a philosophy that Galloway carried with him throughout his career as a record-setting coach at Lookout Valley High School.

“You know what helps? Learning to get along with people from all different places,” Galloway, also a former Chattanooga-area board of education member, said. “You get in the military and you meet folks from everywhere and see the importance of communication – not just in education but it helps everywhere in life, marriage and family.

“Just be kind to people and try to get along. If you can do that, people want to be around you. And nobody needs people being kind to them and taking care of them more than kids.”

In his many years at Lookout Valley, Galloway coached baseball, golf and volleyball, but is best known as the school's longtime girls' basketball coach.

Galloway’s own children have also carved out a life in athletics. His daughter, Kristen Clounch, is head coach of Lookout Valley’s girls’ basketball team; another daughter, Katie Burrows, is head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs women’s basketball team. His son and daughter-in-law, Keith and Jennifer Galloway, set the boys’ and girls’ basketball programs in motion when Hardin Valley Academy opened near Knoxville in 2008.

Still helping Kristen at Lookout Valley, Galloway tries to carry with him a lesson first absorbed at an early-1980s TSSAA meeting.

“To me, the TSSAA leadership has always done an incredible job, and I’ve always appreciated what they’ve done. A lot of times they’re in a no-win situation and there’s always two sides to it,” said Galloway, nearing his 47-year-anniversary with wife, Cheryl, a staple at the Lookout Valley scorer’s table as the team’s bookkeeper throughout her husband’s career. “But years ago, and I’ve never forgot this, the TSSAA used a slogan to be instilled in kids, ‘Just Do What’s Right.’

“That covers such a great area of everything you want to talk about. Doing what’s right, at least making the effort to be in a positive mood. I first heard that in a TSSAA fall meeting in Chattanooga and I never forgot it. I think that’s the best thing they’ve ever come up with.”