Jeff Gallo returns for his 12th season as a member of the Monmouth University football coaching staff. A 2005 graduate of Monmouth, Gallo was handed the reigns to the MU tight ends in 2007 while still serving as Director of Football Operations.
Gallo has crafted the Monmouth tight ends into one of the most productive units in the conference year in and year out, rewriting the position’s record book over the past four seasons. Under his guidance,three former Monmouth tight ends have been drafted, signed or awarded tryouts with NFL teams. Six times during his coaching career Gallo has had an all-conference performer.
John Nalbone became the first Hawk drafted in the NFL, going on to play for three teams in four seasons. Mike McLafferty had mini-camp invites from three different teams while most recently Hakeem Valles signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
Valles could not crack the Monmouth two-deep as a wide receiver when he decided to request a switch to tight end. Over the next two seasons he would go on to start 20 games for the Blue & White, finishing third on the team in receptions and reception yardage as a senior in 2015. As his blocking improved, interest in the 6'5" Sicklerville, NJ native picked up by NFL teams with all 32 visiting West Long Branch to watch or work him out. Valles signed with the Cardinals moments after the 2016 Draft concluded and was assigned to the practice squad at the start of the season.
McLafferty completed the finest season for a Monmouth tight end in 2013, setting the position record with 501 receiving yards on 24 receptions. McLafferty recorded a pair of 100-plus yard games and led the Hawks with 20.9 yards per reception. Despite only earning the starting nod as a senior, McLafferty finished his career as Monmouth’s sixth all-time leading receiver.
In 2012 Tyler George finished his career third in receptions at Monmouth with 121 catches. The First Team All-Northeast Conference selection wrapped up his time in West Long Branch seventh in reception yardage (1,083) and took ownership of every tight end receiving record (receptions in a game, receptions and reception yardage).
At the completion of the 2012 season, George along with junior Mike McLafferty combined for 51 catches and almost 500 receiving yards. The season before the duo hauled in 50 catches for over 450 yards. In 2010 George finished eighth in the NEC in receptions per game and was second among all tight ends in the league with 36 receptions.
In 2008 under Gallo's guidance, John Nalbone earned All-Northeast Conference honors for the fourth time in his career as he led the league's tight ends in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. At the end of the season, he was the lone tight end and the second Hawk ever, to be honored as an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Nalbone would go on to become the first Monmouth player ever taken in the NFL draft when the Miami Dolphins drafted him in the fifth round.
In his capacity as Director of Football Ops, the former Hawk offensive lineman handles a number of administrative duties for the Monmouth football team, including but not limited to all aspects of team travel and organizing the Annual Monmouth Football Golf Outing. Gallo has been instrumental in fund raising and alumni relations, setting up numerous events held throughout the year.
Gallo enjoyed a stellar four-year playing career as a Hawk from 2000-03. He tabbed first-team All-Northeast Conference honors as an offensive lineman and was named a second-team Don Hansen All-American during his senior campaign. Gallo also earned the Monmouth University Lombardi Award while leading the Hawks to an NEC Championship and then ECAC Football Classic in the 2003 season.
A southern New Jersey native and graduate of Cherokee High School, Gallo earned third-team All-State and first-team All-South Jersey honors as a defensive lineman. He currently resides in Howell with his wife Kirsten.