Ralph Galanti

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Erie Community College Hockey Coach & Athletic Director

The obstacles facing the athletics program at Erie Community College during the late 1970s were both financial and logistical. In a fortuitous convergence of circumstances, Ralph Galanti took the reins as Athletic Director, the right man in the right place at the right time. Twenty-five years later, ECC fields one of the finest and most diverse junior college athletic programs in the country… one that boasts 20 sports, All-American athletes, and consistent representation in national championships.

In Galanti’s early years in the position, ECC offered but seven sports, and each campus (South, North, and City) had the opportunity to field its own team. Galanti’s vision was one that unified, athletically, the three campuses, and provided a broad plan for years to come.

A Lackawanna native and Western New York booster, Galanti fulfilled double duty for all but one of the initial 25 years at the helm as Athletic Director. He also created, developed, and tutored the Kats’ successful hockey team until assuming the Athletic Director’s role full-time.

Galanti’s skates were not easy to fill when he finally gave up the coach’s whistle. His squads captured five regional titles and made eight appearances in the NJCAA national championships. For his efforts, he was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, was regional coach of the year on five occasions, International Collegiate Hockey coach of the year four times, and had an award exemplifying sportsmanship, named in his honor that is presented annually to a deserving area high school hockey team.

Galanti has proven to be a versatile Athletic Director for Erie Community College. Hockey wasn’t the only major sport he began from the ground up at ECC. The football program begins its fourth year of competition this fall and ended its second campaign ranked 11th in the nation in the NJCAA poll. The Kats’ bowling teams have annually been among the strongest two or four-year programs in the country. Additionally, Galanti, who made more than a dozen successful proposals to host NJCAA national championships in the area, assisted in the design and development of ECC’s Burt Flickinger Athletic Center, the athletic jewel on its downtown campus which hosts a significant number of events per year unrelated to the school’s athletic program.

Tonight, Ralph Galanti, a man for all seasons, is welcomed to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.