Coach Spotlight: David Gale Brings New Energy to the Wrestling Team


New faculty member David Gale has brought great success to his wrestling team so far, while also teaching English in the Middle School.

Gale has been coaching wrestling for 18 years in the Chattahoochee league, a sixteen-team league made up of local schools like Lovett or Woodward. Gale started coaching at Holy Innocence Episcopal School. He was coaching football and soccer at the time and didn’t know anything about wrestling until he was approached with the offer to become the head coach. “It changed my life because it was something that I fell in love with,” says Gale. Even before becoming a Westminster teacher, the school played a prominent role in his coaching career, as his first wrestling match was in Turner, against the Wildcats.

Gale has worked hard as a coach this year and his commitment has paid off so far. At the team’s first match against Holy Innocence and Mount Bethel, they won 29 out of the 35 matches. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had that high of a percentage of winning,” Gale believes., To him, the team this year has all the right components to have an incredible season. Wrestling Team Member Elle Lanier declares, “We have a great team of returners and some crazy first-year people, too.”

While winning is nice, Gale has bigger goals. He wants to create a sense of family in his wrestling team by making everyone feel included and to “turn the wrestling team into a wrestling program.” To Gale, a wrestling program consists of the team’s being connected with the older wrestlers on JV and Varsity. 

Coaching is not Gale’s only passion; he loves working in the classroom. Gale says there are two sides to his becoming a teacher. Gale never thought he wanted to become a teacher, but school was always a big part of his life because of his connections to teaching—his mom, former English teacher Judy Gale, retired just last year. However, David Gale always knew he wanted to work with kids. In college, he went to work at Camp Seagull, where he was a counselor to middle school boys. While there, Gale realized how much he enjoyed working with kids. When he left camp at the end of summer, he knew he wanted to become a teacher.

Gale got his first job as a teacher very soon after graduating college. Gale worked for eleven years at Holy Innocence Episcopal School, where he served as a football and soccer coach, then a wrestling coach. After HIES, Gale went on to work at the Walker School for six years, where he continued to be a wrestling coach. Last year he was Interim Head of School for Walker’s Middle School. As an educator, Gale wants to transform the classroom from just a space of learning into a space of belonging. Gale believes many transformative things can occur when these changes are made in a classroom. 

Likewise, Gale was offered the opportunity to become a teacher sponsor for the leadership group Community Council by Middle School Head Danette Morton. He had no clue what Community Council even was, but he still said “yes.” Gale loves being on Community Council and learning from students who have been a part of the council longer than he has. He states the older members have “taken me under their wing” and are showing him what Community Council is all about.

Westminster has been a big change to Gale, not only in size but also in position. At the last school he worked at, The Walker School, he held the role of Interim Head of School. Gale says the change back into a teacher was a little hard to get used to. Gale states, “I sometimes feel lost.” However, many people have been there to help him. Like everyone, Gale is learning the way day by day and has loved Westminster so far.