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Chelmsford High School Alumni Association


Established 2000

Awarding Criteria: Will be awarded to a deserving senior boy who has earned a varsity letter in basketball 

A devoted husband to Pauline, a doting Dad to Tim, and Granddad to Brendan, a wonderful father-in-law to Colleen, a terrific teacher and coach, and a kind, compassionate, and classy person, this is the Tom Gallagher many of us remember.

Tom, an active member and President of the CHS class of 1955, also served in student government and was a gifted scholar-athlete, lettering in three sports; baseball, basketball,
and football and was the recipient of numerous honors in all three. Tom attended Providence College, UMass Lowell, and graduated from Salem State College. He played baseball and basketball successfully at each and upon graduation started his teaching and coaching career in Westford.

He involved himself in the community in which he lived, serving as a youth coach in many sports and being a member of the Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Committee and the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association. He is a member of the Greater Lowell Technical High School and the University of Lowell Halls of Fame and was a 1992 inductee to the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

Tom was a teacher and coach from 1965 until he lost his lengthy and hard-fought battle with cancer in December of 1998 at the age of 61. He served as a teacher and/or coach at Keith Academy, Greater Lowell Tech, Westford Academy, Dracut, Lowell and Chelmsford High Schools, always with success and always leaving an impact on his students, his athletes, and his colleagues.

He has been honored by some of the athletes he coached at CHS from 1979-1987, his fellow CHS classmates from the 1950’s and basketball officials from the Greater Lowell area who had a strong desire to start this Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Scholarship in his name. They not only remember the MVC Championship and the Aldrich Good Sportsmanship Awards they won under his leadership, but they also remember Tom’s passion for basketball, his energy and enthusiasm, and how much he always cared for his athletes while in school and after they graduated. A number of his players went on to play successfully in college, and some have moved on to the coaching profession; three of his former CHS players are varsity coaches in the MVC now. He was a wonderful mentor and colleague to all coaches, whether experienced or not, always offering in a very professional, and often humorous manner, suggestions and thoughts and continually seeking ways and ideas to raise his already high standards and improve his own coaching techniques.

This scholarship is awarded to a deserving senior who has earned a Varsity Letter in Basketball. It’s unfortunate that none of the recipients will have ever had the opportunity to meet and know this very special person.