Just four days after the completion of the 3rd NWLA National Tournament, and a few weeks after the 18th PWL Season Commissioner Gallaway has announced he will be stepping down from the league he founded and has managed for 10 years.
Gallaway will officially retire following the completion of the Spring 2015 season, providing the next year and two seasons as an opportunity to transition the league to new leadership. Gallaway plans to complete the Spring 2015 Season, and manage the PWL All Stars in one more NWLA Tournament before stepping down.
Statement from Commissioner Gallaway
Exactly one year from today, the managers of the teams playing in the Summer 2015 season will hold a conference call to kick off the season. One of the things on that agenda is the election of a Commissioner. I will not seek, nor will I accept, nomination to that office again.
All I wanted when I started this league was for it to be recognized around the world as the best league, with the best website, and me personally to be known as the greatest Commissioner to ever live. Done, done, and done.
Twenty seasons will be enough, it is time for new blood when my current term expires.
Though I feel like the Barnburners are my illegitimate children, I need to start planning the takeover or creation of whatever league my real son will be playing in soon. Obviously they are probably not keeping accurate stats, or even posting complete game videos. So, I’ll have to take that over, or just start one from scratch.
We all know the league won’t be as good. How could it be? But, I’m confident it will continue, in just a somewhat less great capacity. As a two time National Commissioner of the Year, and likely winner in 2014 and 2015 also, the next person is just going to have to struggle to keep their head above water. We can’t all be referred to as “God’s Gift to Wiffleball”. Some people are just average, and the best average person available will take over for me.
Gallaway stated that he hasn’t identified a successor yet, but cautioned that the role is large and diverse, and splitting some of the responsibilities might be possible. “There has to be one, single, Commissioner to make decisions,” Gallaway said, “But there are plenty of things that could be delegated to other people. We’re going to explore all these options over the next twelve months.”
There are several league officials currently in the Gallaway administration. Greg Hudson is beginning his fourth season as Deputy Commissioner and was also tapped to manage the London Tournament team this season. Andrew Martin and Alex Filides are starting their sixth seasons as head scorekeeper and head groundskeeper respectively. There is also the possibility of a Commissioner from outside of the current league leadership and manager’s pool completely.
When asked if the timing of the announcement had anything to do with the recent DC Twits World Championship, Gallaway laughed it off. “The Twits victory was good for the league, it was good for wiffleball. I hope I get to present the trophy to two more new champions before I’m done. WSEM winning the NWLA though, that might have pushed me over the edge.”
Gallaway will manage one more NWLA Tournament for the PWL team, where the franchise has a disappointing 7-14 record over three tournaments. The tournament is held between the PWL Spring and Summer season. This year’s team was eliminated by the defending tournament champions after surrendering a 3-0 lead with just three outs to go. “I definitely want to get one more shot at the NWLA tournament”, Gallaway said. “That ending was bitter for me, we had a chance to really do something, and we just need a couple of missing pieces.”
In addition to managing the PWL team for the NWLA, Gallaway serves as the PWL’s representative on the host committee, and largely has primary responsibility for putting on the now annual event. He gave no indication of what effect his retirement as Commissioner would have on his NWLA responsibilities.
Other organizations going through leadership changes as founders stepped down have struggled, and many have even died. The one year transition and succession plan is designed to ensure stability for the future of the PWL. Gallaway expects to roll out the transition plan during the Summer season, with components taking place over the next two seasons and off season.
To date, Gallaway has helmed the PWL through 10 years, 18 seasons, 748 players and 1,771 games, with two more last seasons to go.