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Harry Gallatin, 1927-2015

7 October 2015, 12:50 PM

Harry GallatinNaismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Harry Gallatin, SIUE's first director of athletics, has passed away at the age of 88.

The visitation will be Friday, Oct. 9 from 3–8 p.m. at Weber & Rodney Funeral Home in Edwardsville. The funeral service will be Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Edwardsville.

At SIUE, Gallatin’s career included three seasons as the men’s basketball coach and 24 as the men’s golf coach. He served as the school’s director of athletics from 1967 to 1972. Gallatin was a member of the SIUE Athletics Inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2005.

“The greater metropolitan region, Edwardsville and especially SIUE has lost a genuine and humble ‘Giant’ of a man today,” SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt said. “So kind, so unassuming, yet he had such a powerful impact on so many. Much has been written about Harry’s life, his wonderful careers and the people he has touched. Some of the most famous people in the world of sports have praised this man. He deserves much more.” 

The Roxana native remained an avid supporter of SIUE athletics until his passing. Gallatin could be seen at most home basketball games and numerous Department of Athletics events. Gallatin started SIUE's men’s basketball program in 1967 and coached the Cougars for three seasons.

In 1973, Gallatin became SIUE’s men’s golf coach, leading the team to 18 NCAA Division II Championship appearances and producing multiple All-Americans. The 1983 men’s golf team was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

Gallatin played 10 seasons in the NBA for the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons and was a seven-time All-Star. He was an All-NBA first team selection in 1954, after leading the league in rebounding with an astonishing 15.3 rebounds per game. He was an All-NBA second team pick in 1955. He currently ranks fourth all-time on the Knicks rebounding list with 5,935 rebounds. On the final night of the 1952-53 season, Gallatin hauled in 33 rebounds against the Fort Wayne Pistons, a Knicks record which still stands.

Harry “The Horse” Gallatin is perhaps best known for his workmanship, never missing a game or practice in his career. He played 610 consecutive games with the Knicks, a record that also remains to this day.

During his career, Gallatin collected 8,843 points and 6,684 rebounds.

Following his playing career, Gallatin moved to the coaching ranks where he led the St. Louis Hawks from 1962-65 and the New York Knicks during the 1965-66 season. He earned the NBA Coach of the Year Award following the 1962-63 season. He was 148-131 during his career as a head coach.

Gallatin coached at SIU Carbondale from 1958-1962, amassing a 79-36 record as the Salukis’ head coach.

Enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1991, Gallatin was inducted into Madison Square Garden’s Walk of Fame in May 2015.

Final arrangements have not yet been made. Details will be released when they are available.

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