Gale Named New RC Boys Basketball Coach

Jonathan Schwab


Wednesday, Sept. 9 – New Rockbridge County High School athletic director Mike Gale was officially named the school’s head boys basketball coach at the Rockbridge County School Board Meeting on Tuesday night.

Gale, 42, replaces Darrell Plogger, who was the Wildcats’ head coach for the last 10 years. He has over 19 years of coaching experience at the high school level, the last 14 at Stuarts Draft High School in Augusta County, where he also taught physical education. At Stuarts Draft, Gale implemented the “Grinnell System,” a strategy that produced a fast-paced style of play, with frequent 3-pointers, mass substitutions every 90 seconds and high scores.

Gale’s 2019-20 team reached the state tournament for the first time in school history, ending with a 136-99 loss to eventual Class 2 champion John Marshall in the quarterfinals. Gale was named Shenandoah District coach of the year.

Under Plogger last winter, the Wildcats went 9-14, ending their season in the Region 3C quarterfinals. Plogger’s most successful season was in 2011-2012, when the Wildcats won the district and regional championship before falling to state champion Brunswick 64-59 in overtime in the Group AA, Division 3 state semifinals. RC finished that season with a record of 25-3, led by all-time leading scorer Andrew Rowsey.

On July 1, Gale replaced Rick Lollis at RC’s athletic director, taking over the sports department in the fourth month of the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, Virginia High School League sports are scheduled to resume in mid-December, with the first official practice for basketball on Dec. 7, followed by a shortened season, with 14 regular-season games.

For the full story on Gale’s new role, please see our Sept. 16 newspaper.

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