MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A familiar face has returned to the Georgia College Soccer sidelines, as former assistant coach Tinna Gallagher has taken the head coach reigns for Bobcat Soccer.
"I would like to sincerely thank Wendell Staton, coach Steve Barsby (the chair of the search committee), coach Jamie Grodecki, and all of the members of the search committee and many others in the Georgia College community who have given me the opportunity to lead the women's soccer program," said Gallagher. "I feel incredibly honored that I have been trusted to coach the young female soccer players at Georgia College, and I cannot wait to be their mentor, influencer, encourager and supporter. I am really looking forward to continuing the success of the program that has been filled with great leadership and work ethic both on and off the field. Georgia College brought my family and I to Milledgeville seven years ago and I am so excited that we will once again become part of the Bobcat family. We feel truly blessed."
Gallagher most recently served as the head coach for Oxford College of Emory, leading the Eagles for three seasons. Oxford College picked up 25 wins during that time, advancing to the District H Championship match in 2018.
She spent four seasons with the Bobcats, three of which produced 10-win campaigns. She was on the staff for the team's first Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championship match in 2013.
"I am absolutely thrilled that Tinna Gallagher has agreed to become the Head Coach of our soccer program," said Staton. "First and foremost, Tinna is an absolutely incredible human being who leads by example with integrity and ethics. This is the number one priority when I hire a new staff member and she has a value system that any of us would be thrilled to model. Everything about Tinna and her approach to the student-athlete experience aligns so clearly with the values of our university. I was elated when she accepted the position because I know the incredibly positive and authentic impact she is going to have on our student-athletes as well as our entire campus and community. When hiring any new coach, I ask myself the ultimate question, 'would I want my child to play for this coach?' I cannot deliver a more enthusiastic 'YES, YES, YES'!!"
"A special thanks to Georgia College Soccer program members Sophia Bonser and Lydia Atkinson who have been in constant contact and provided absolutely awesome support and leadership through this process! Thanks to Assistant Athletic Director Steve Barsby for chairing the search, as well as the committee members."
A native Icelander, Gallagher (then-Hauksdottir) was chosen to the top-30 group for U17 and U19 Women's Soccer National Teams. She grew up playing for KR in Iceland, a dominant and well-respected club squad in her native country.
She continued her playing career at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) and her accolades include three-time All-Southern States Conference, including first team honors in her senior season of 2008. She was also a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region selection in 2007, adding Academic All-Conference honors twice in her career. In 2008, she received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champion of Character award.
After her eligibility completed in 2008, she re-joined the staff as a student assistant coach for the 2009 season, a year in which the Lady Senators advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. After finishing a Master's in Public Administration at AUM, she took a role at MIT as an assistant coach and instructor, earning a nomination for the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Superior Award. She then took on a role as an administrative assistant for both the Assistant Athletic Directors and Senior Woman Administrator.
Gallagher is married to David Gallagher, the Dean of High School Students and Head Boys Basketball coach at John Milledge Academy. The two have a daughter, Hazel. The Gallaghers live in Milledgeville.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up- to-the- minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.