Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gagliardi Retires

All good things must come to an end.

86 year old John Gagliardi, head coach of St. John's University, announced his retirement yesterday.  He retires with the most wins in college football history, and at 489 wins it is likely a record that will go unbeaten.

John (no disrespect in using that name - that's what he asked to be called, even by his players) was a unique coach.  No whistles, no screaming, no tackling in practice, no showboating, no practice if the weather or bugs were too bad.  His team would drill on things like "the walk away drill" where they would practice walking away after suffering an imaginary cheap-shot.

And that unorthodox philosophy, the antithesis of the cliche blood-and-guts college coach, led to 27 conference championships and 4 national titles.  

Today did a story on him from 10 years ago:

He coached at St. John's since before I was born.  He coached there 25 years after I graduated.  John was as much a part of St. John's as anything, and it is hard to imagine the team and the school without him.

St. John's will not be the same.  College football will not be the same.  But both are definitely left better because of the legacy and imprint left by John Gagliardi.

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