Ed Galvin during his playing days at Loyola of New Orleans. | Provided
Ed Galvin

Ed Galvin, 88, died on September 18, 2021 at his home in Glen Ellyn, surrounded by his wife and family.

Born in 1933, the son of Irish immigrants, he grew up on the West Side of Chicago and at an early age fell in love with the game of basketball on the hardwood and asphalt courts of school gyms and Chicago Park District playgrounds. A 6-5 Chicago Catholic League and All-City forward for renowned Coach Clem Naughton at St. Philip High School, he earned a basketball scholarship to Loyola University in New Orleans, where he set team scoring and rebound records, was the Wolfpack’s most valuable player for three straight years, a member of Collier Magazine’s All-American Basketball Team, and the 77th overall pick of the 1955 NBA draft, selected by the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76’ers).

He began his Hall of Fame coaching career as an assistant for three years at his alma mater, St. Philip, then became head coach at St. Rita High School on the South Side. He led the Mustangs to immediate and unprecedented Catholic League basketball success, winning 232 “heavyweight” and “lightweight” (5-9 and under) games in only six seasons, including one heavyweight and two lightweight league championships.

 In 1969, he moved to Fenwick High School. Tony Lawless recruited Galvin to succeed another Chicago basketball coaching legend, Bill Shay, as only the fourth head basketball coach in Fenwick history. During his 10 years at Fenwick, the Friars won two Chicago Catholic League Lightweight titles and was the first team to win three consecutive Fenwick Christmas Lightweight Tournament Championships in the 34 years of the famed tourney. He was voted the Chicago Catholic League Coach of the Year for all sports in 1971.

While at Fenwick, he also served as the first head men’s Basketball coach at Rosary College (now Dominican University) from 1976 to 1978. Post-Fenwick, he was head basketball coach at North Central College (1980-82) and finished his 40-year coaching career at Illinois Math and Science Academy (1988-1997) with more than 600 coaching wins at all levels.

He also served as athletic director at St. Rita and Fenwick high schools and Rosary and North Central colleges. 

As player and coach, he was selected as a member of five halls of fame: Chicago Catholic League, Chicagoland Sports, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, St. Rita High School and Loyola University New Orleans Athletics. 

He supplemented his income to support his family, working first as a trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and then with Galvin Marketing, which he established with his lifelong friend Dan O’Donnell. 

Jeff Carpenter, All-State and All-American player at Fenwick in 1974 and a member of Notre Dame’s only Final Four Team in 1978, said, “Coach Galvin had confidence in me from the start and I never wanted to let him down. Coach was gruff on the outside, but he loved his players. Plus, he had an awesome hook shot and drop kick. He was my favorite coach. 

Neil Bresnahan, All-State forward at Fenwick in 1976 and University of Illinois four-year starter and captain of the 1980 Illini, added, “Coach Galvin got the most out of every player. We always played hard, and we were always the best and most feared rebounding team in Chicago because of his teaching and emphasis on that aspect of the game. Outside of the game, he was always there for us. He will be missed by all who ever played for him.”

Even with all of these athletic achievements and recognition, Ed Galvin was most proud of his 63-year marriage to Eileen (nee Day), his six daughters, 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation on Friday, Sept. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton. To accommodate those who are traveling or those requiring special assistance, there will be visitation at St. James the Apostle Church, 480 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m until time of funeral Mass at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. James the Apostle Grammar School, 490 S. Park Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 in Ed’s name, to support Catholic Education. 

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