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November 6, 2012

Gallo brings familiarity to RMU staff

As Robert Morris transitioned from Mike Rice to Andy Toole two seasons ago, there was a common theme; don’t change what isn’t broken.

The program stuck to the formula that had produced so much success. This offseason, Andy Toole had a big decision to make regarding his coaching staff, and once again Toole and the RMU brass stuck with that train of thought, sticking with what has been working for them over the years.

Toole hired Joe Gallo, who at the time was an assistant coach from Dartmouth, and like Toole is from New Jersey (Milltown, N.J.), and knows the northeast as well as anyone. Gallo has very strong connections with the Hoop Group and is expected to help continue RMU’s strong recruiting success in the northeast.

“Coach Toole has me as the recruiting coordinator," Gallo said. "What is great about this program is the current success level. I don’t need to get the train rolling, just keep it rolling.”

When asked if there is a specific region that he would focus on, Gallo said, “We try not to break it down like that. If I’m at a tournament, and see a kid I like that would fit what we’re doing here, I’ll go for him. I will say that I’ll focus my efforts in the northeast. The D.C./Virginia area, and up to Maine. But it’s not restricted to that.”

Gallo has a lot of connections with the RMU staff and has known Toole for years.

“I’ve known coach (Toole) for about seven years now," Gallo said. "We have connections from the Hoop Group and we have always been friends. I talked to him on the phone about once a week over the years.”

Gallo also knew assistant coach Michael Byrnes from his days at Merrimack College where Gallo was coaching. Gallo also played his college ball at Merrimack.

When asked what is looking forward to most as he joins the RMU program, there was no hesitation in his voice.

“The competition level here is incredible," Gallo said. "Not to take anything away from other programs I have been at, but these guys are so intense. Practices are intense, and these guys work hard."

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