How Dwight Galt Is Helping Virginia Tech Football Establish An Identity

Dax Hollifield and Virginia Tech are getting stronger and developing quicker under Dwight Galt, especially in the weight room. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

In December, Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry called Dwight Galt “a culture driver in this football program.”

The Senior Director of Strength & Conditioning ventured to Blacksburg right before the new year. In the seven-plus months since, he’s helped Pry and the staff establish an identity.

Galt was a defensive lineman at Maryland from 2005-09 and faced the Hokies three times while ACC counterparts. One thing always stuck with him about VT.

“Every time we played Tech, we always said, ‘they’ve got something there,'” Galt told Tech Sideline in an interview. “‘They’re hard-nosed kids.’ And they did it with guys that, to be honest with you, we played against in high school and weren’t the fastest and the best, but they were just good, tough football players.”

Galt graduated with a degree in family science and became a strength & conditioning intern with the Terps after his playing career. Soon after, he had a two-year stint at South Carolina as a graduate assistant strength coach. But his path ultimately led him to Penn State, where he was the Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning for seven years.

It was there he worked with Pry, who was on James Franklin’s staff starting in 2014. Though Galt spent his last three years at Old Dominion, he couldn’t pass up on the opportunity of helping Pry create something from scratch.

“I knew his vision, how he would build the program, the type of people he’d want in the program,” Galt said of Pry. “I think I always thought I’d be very like-minded to him, and he would surround himself with people that are like-minded to me, which I couldn’t agree more with.

“This is a hard profession. It doesn’t [matter] how many zeros you’ve got next to your salary, it’s hard. So to have that to inspire you is important and big for me, not only for my career but also my quality of life.”

Galt prides himself on his teams being tough and understanding what hard work looks like. While some coaches might try to incorporate different styles and ideas into their staff — Pry is a great example — Galt doesn’t really believe in that. Instead, he hired four assistants that are on the same wavelength as him: Greg Allen, Jarrett Ferguson, K.J. Florence and Matt Greenhalgh.

“I want people that are going to be kind of like me, that just really hammer home that style,” Galt said.

When it comes to Pry, he and Galt have the same idea of how they want the football team to look. Physical, fast, tall, hardworking and unselfish, all things that the Hokies preach. The approach of not taking a day for granted and every day being important is also shared.

The first year of trying to build a program has its ups and downs. Pry is Galt’s second head coach in three years, both of which came from the Franklin tree (ODU’s Ricky Rahne). Working out the kinks is important, but that can be nerve wracking at the same time.

However, having the first crack at putting his stamp on the program is something Galt appreciates. It starts with building relationships and earning players’ trust, and he said they’ve adapted well.

“The guys have been awesome,” Galt said. “We came in and kind of hit the ground running. They started working hard, and we’ve kind of just continued to build upon that and continued to push that emphasis as far as being hard working and tough.”