Franklin Road Academy has hired David Gallagher as the new head coach of the Panther basketball program, per a release. 

Gallagher joins FRA with more than 13 years of coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate levels. Most recently, Gallagher served as head coach for the men’s basketball program at John Milledge Academy in Georgia, where the release says he built a championship caliber program.

“Franklin Road Academy is a special place, and I am overjoyed to join the community as the head coach for the men’s basketball program and as an upper school mathematics teacher. FRA’s faith-based mission aligns with my family’s perspective on sports as a vehicle to cultivate Christ-like character," Gallagher said in the release.

"I look forward to building new relationships with the players, coaching staff, families and colleagues on campus. I am excited for the opportunity to work alongside someone with such a prolific basketball background as Coach [Joshua] Lester. As a coach, I truly believe that good teams consist of good players, while great teams consist of great teammates. While developing as individual players, we will always emphasize teamwork and how to achieve excellence as one unit on and off the court." 

In his eight seasons as head coach, he guided the program to four state final four appearances, including two state runner-up finishes, and a state championship in 2021. His career record at JMA was 161-45 with five 20+ win seasons and five region tournament championships. Gallagher was named Coach of the Year in 2021 and the Georgia All Star Coach on multiple occasions, and his players received numerous accolades including 13 All-State nominations. Gallagher began coaching following a playing career at Auburn University Montgomery under head coach Larry Chapman. 

An accomplished educator and coach, Gallagher earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from AUM, where he graduated magna cum laude and was the recipient of the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He holds a master’s degree in mathematics for teaching from Harvard Extension School and a Specialist in Education degree in educational leadership from Georgia College & State University. As a classroom teacher, Gallagher won the STAR Teacher of the Year award three times over the last 10 years teaching advanced statistics and advanced placement calculus and served as the upper school dean of students for the last five years. 

Gallagher’s appointment is the culmination of an extensive search led by Athletic Director Kris Palmerton and Assistant Head for External Affairs Ryan Harris. 

“We are very excited for Coach Gallagher to join the FRA community as the new head coach of the Panther basketball program. He has a tremendous amount of high school and collegiate-level coaching experience and has successfully led his teams to complete at the state and regional levels,” said Palmerton. “His passion for basketball, our mission, and our student athletes is clear, and we look forward to him making a big impact on the Panther basketball program and in the lives of our students.” 


Gallagher will visit campus this spring to meet with players, coaches, and families as he prepares for his arrival in June. Gallagher will partner with top assistant coach, Joshua Lester, who currently serves as assistant athletic director and performance league director at FRA. 

Lester holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in sports administration from Belmont University, where he also played basketball for legendary coach Rick Byrd. Following graduation, Lester worked as a graduate assistant for the Belmont men’s basketball program while earning his master’s degree in sports administration.