By Terry Toohey
Joe Gallagher had every intention of coming back for his 30th season as the head football coach at Haverford High School, even though the 2020 season was the most physically taxing of his long career because of a bad left hip, left knee and back.
“It was a really big struggle getting through it,” Gallagher said. “It got to the point, specifically with my back, that it literally knocked me off my feet. I had a folding chair with me. I was unable to be on my feet for an extended period of time. It limited my mobility and it was actually quite painful.”
Gallagher planned to have hip replacement, knee replacement and back surgery in the offseason in time to come back for another year.
OVID-19 changed those plans.
Gallagher said his hip replacement surgery was postponed three times before he finally underwent the procedure on Feb. 15. He is scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on May 17 and back surgery sometime in September.
Gallagher had his left knee replaced 10 years ago and his left hip replaced in 2016.
“I think the imbalance of my left side being very good and my right side being bad caused me to walk like a penguin and that didn’t do my back any good,” Gallagher said. “I swore I would not spend another season where I was grabbing a stool to get off my feet.”