John Gagliardi 1926-2018

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John Gagliardi was more than just a football coach:

Gagliardi is the winningest coach in college football history, accumulating 489 victories in his 64-year career. He ended his tenure with St. John's sporting a 489–138–11 all-time record, winning 77 percent of his games. 

"John Gagliardi was not only an extraordinary coach, he was also an educator of young men and builder of character," St. John's President Michael Hemesath said in a statement. "John inspired deep and enduring loyalty and passion among his players across the decades because he taught them lessons through the medium of football that served them well in their personal and professional lives long after graduating from Saint John's University. His is a legacy any educator would be extremely proud of."

If you count all of his ties, that’s five hundred times the other team on the field couldn’t beat him and his teams. Growing up in Minnesota, there was nothing wrong with wanting to go to St. John’s or Gustavus Adolphus or even one of those two fancy-pants damned colleges in Northfield. If you were okay at football, you could have ended up on Gagliardi’s team. And you would have stayed there, too—his policy was to not cut players who wanted to play and he sometimes had well over 125 players to choose from on game day.

Coach Gagliardi was an American original.