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Son of asst. athletic director killed in crash

Belmont teen remembered by friends for selflessness, talent

Published: Monday, February 24, 2003

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

Memorial services were held last Monday and Tuesday for Darren Douglas Gallup, the son of Boston College Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations Barry Gallup. Darren, a senior at Belmont Hill Academy, died in a car crash in Wellesley early on Feb. 15.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Gallup was driving his Jeep Liberty home from a friend's house. He allegedly lost control while making a turn. Gallup was thrown from the Jeep and pinned underneath as it rolled over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gallup was a three-season athlete for Belmont Hill, playing varsity football, hockey, and lacrosse. He earned numerous accolades throughout his football career, including being named co-MVP of the Independent Schools League in 2002. Gallup set the league record with seven touchdowns in one game.

Although Darren did not intend to matriculate to BC, he nevertheless had a strong connection to the Heights. His father, a wide receiver for the Eagles, held the career-receiving record that was eventually broken by Gerard Phelan, recipient of the 1984 Miami Miracle pass. Barry met Darren's mother, Victoria, while she was a secretary for then BC basketball coach Gary Williams. In his capacity as assistant football coach and recruiter, Barry Gallup was responsible for bringing Doug Flutie to BC.

"Darren was a fine scholastic player," said Reid Oslin, BC senior media relations officer. "He was a great kid."

Oslin said he knew Darren almost from the day he was born, when he worked with Darren's father in the Athletics Department.

"Darren was born in 1984," said Oslin. "That was BC's Cotton Bowl season, when Doug Flutie won the Heisman Trophy. That's where Darren got his name from. He's named after the Flutie brothers, Darren and Doug.

"There's a photograph out there, taken when Darren was maybe a week old," Oslin continued. "Darren's mom is standing with him in her arms, with the Flutie brothers right there, boarding the plane to go to the Cotton Bowl."

In addition to having an accomplished athletic career, Darren was also a four-year honor student and a National Merit Scholar. He had been accepted early to Harvard University, where he planned to play football.

"He was a very talented classical pianist," said Oslin.

"It almost sounds cliché, but Darren was one of the most well-rounded people I knew," said Rob Crane, A&S '06. "Darren had every reason to be arrogant, but the best thing about him was that he was always humble and down to earth."

Crane said he attended Belmont Hill, graduating a year before Gallup. He met Darren in fifth grade, when they played on the same Little League team.

"Darren was an unbelievable person," said Michael Flynn, A&S '06. "He had so many friends, and he was always so nice."

Flynn, who played football for Wellesley High School, knew Darren from football camps they both attended and through mutual friends.

"I always ragged on him for not playing for Wellesley," said Flynn. "Nothing ever fazed him, though."

Many mourners attended memorial services for Gallup on Monday and Tuesday, in spite of the adverse weather.

"More than 1,000 people were at the wake and funeral," said Oslin. "They filled the Belmont Hill auditorium, even though those were the days of the blizzard."

"Everyone -adults and kids- held Darren in such high regard," said Flynn.

Oslin recounted an anecdote that he believed highlighted the type of person Darren was. "I heard about a young man who attended the funeral. Apparently, this kid wasn't the most popular or outgoing person at Belmont Hill. He said he came because Darren was the only person who took the time to say hello to him in the hallways every day."

Crane had a similar story of unselfishness. "Darren and his brother Barry Jr. played football together. One game, Darren was on the bench because he had injured his ankle. His brother had returned a kick for a touchdown. Darren was the first one on the field, running to congratulate his little brother. He was that kind of guy."

Oslin said that the Gallup family is understandably devastated. In a Boston Globe article, Barry Gallup seemed able to cherish his son's life instead of focusing on the tragedy of his death.

"We had 18 fabulous years together," he said.

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