Craig McGallion is entering his sixth season at Lamar, and his second as the team's defensive coordinator. His promotion to coordinator comes after spending four seasons coaching the Lamar linebackers and as the team's recruiting coordinator.
McGallion was placed in the unenviable task of taking over a defense that had lost nine starters from the previous season – a situation that could only be described as a rebuilding year by most prognosticators. But McGallion took some younger players who were waiting in the wings, along with an influx of junior college talent and produced one of the league’s top defensive units in 2014. Despite have to replace nearly every starter, the Cardinals ended the season ranked second in the Southland in passing defense, third in total defense and fourth in the league in rushing defense.
McGallion’s defense produced five All-Southland Conference selections, including two second-teamers. Following the season, defensive end Joe Okafor received an invite to the Green Bay Packers minicamp.
The Lamar linebackers gained respect within the Southland Conference under McGallion’s direction. Since rejoining the league, the Cardinals have had at least one linebacker recognized on the All-Southland Conference teams.
The former University of Houston standout and long-time defensive coordinator at Silsbee High School, McGallion joined Ray Woodard's initial staff at Lamar on June 16, 2008, as an assistant coach.
Over the past three seasons of Southland Conference competition, McGallion has seen four of his linebackers earn honorable mention all-league honors. Asim Hicks and Darby Jackson were honored in 2011, while Jermaine Longino was recognized in 2012 after tying for the conference lead with 107 tackles.
McGallion came to Lamar after serving on the Silsbee staff under his brother Bobby for 10 years, where the Tigers made the playoffs six times.
McGallion spent three seasons as the head coach at Barbers Hill from 1995-98 following a two-year stint at Woodville from 1993-94. The son of the late Silsbee coaching legend Stud McGallion led Woodville to the playoffs in his first season with a 6-4-1 mark.
From 1989-93, McGallion spent time in the Cy-Fair Independent School District at both Cy-Fair HS and Cy-Creek HS. He mentored future NFL Pro Bowl selection Sam Adams, who played at Texas A&M, along with Shane Rink, who starred at Texas, while at Cy-Creek.
McGallion was a three-year letterman and two-year starter at nose guard for the University of Houston. He received his bachelor's degree in Education from UH in 1984.
McGallion graduated from Silsbee HS in 1979 and was an all-state selection at linebacker who was also a member of the 1977 Tiger team that reached the state semifinals. He also played in the 1979 Texas High School All-Star Game.
He has been married to his wife Gayle since 1983 and the couple has a son, Lance, and a daughter, Lacey. Lance is a Lamar graduate and Lacey earned a degree from the Lamar Institute of Technology.