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Kurt Kreiter had around 20 applicants interested in becoming Central DeWitt's next boys basketball coach.

"We interviewed five incredible guys who I wouldn't have been disappointed with if we chose any one of them," Central DeWitt's activities director said.

In the end, the Sabers promoted 24-year-old Grady Gallagher on Thursday night to take over the program following Jeff Frick's resignation at the end of this past season. 

Raised in northwest Iowa, Gallagher played high school basketball at Woodbury Central (once scored 46 points in a game) and four years in college at Division III Buena Vista University.

A high school business teaching position brought him to eastern Iowa, and he's been the Sabers' sophomore coach the past three years. 

"I feel very confident knowing all the guys in our program and the team we can have," Gallagher said. "That is going to make the transition very easy for me. I'm going to push them to their limit and get the most out of every single one of them."

Since its 23-4 and Class 3A state runner-up finish in 2013-14, Central DeWitt has gone 25-63 the past four seasons. The Sabers were 6-16 this past winter, but their top scorer was a sophomore, and they started two juniors. 

Gallagher said the sophomore team has been successful the past two years.

Youth aside, Gallagher believes his experiences as a player have equipped him for this moment.

"I've been everything from a scout team player and a person on the bench to a role player," Gallagher said. "It has really helped me and prepared me to just communicate effectively with every single member of the team. 

"At some point, I've been in each one of their shoes. I've really come to enjoy the relationship-building with each player on the team."

Kreiter understands there will be a learning curve for Gallagher, who also is an assistant football and baseball coach along with middle school track.

"It is a huge job, but I know Grady will lean on the right people and lean on me for things to help navigate him through the job better," Kreiter said.

Gallagher said the Sabers will be a defensive-oriented team under his guidance. It'll concentrate on fundamentals, preparation and passing the ball extremely well. 

"I've always had a huge passion for basketball," he said. "I wasn't always the best player, but I've always loved scouting, watching film and teaching the game. I'm very excited about the opportunity I have to lead this program."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.