St. John’s Honors the Life of Legendary Football Coach Gagliardi
COLLEGEVILLE -- The man who left one of the largest impressions on college football was laid to rest Monday.
John Gagliardi, the winningest college football coach in history, died last Sunday at the age of 91.
His funeral was held at St. John's Abbey in front of family, friends and coaches. Fr. Timothy Backous says Gagliardi was a once in a generation type of person.
There are painters, and then there is Michelangelo. There are musicians and then there is Mozart. There are coaches, then there is John Gagliardi. To say that all these names belong in the same breathe is not an exaggeration, because all of them brought a genius to an ordinary endeavor.
Gagliardi coached the Johnnies for 60-years, collecting 489 wins during that time. His son, Jim Gagliardi, says the support for his family has been overwhelming.
With all this amazing outpouring and amazing stories, a guy should have the decency to be dead. That was my dad's favorite line and it was really true, he got to hear so much. We are so fortunate as a family to have this outpouring and hear how well my dad's life has been documented.
Gagliardi officially retired from coaching in 2012. During his tenure, he also coached the SJU track and field and hockey teams. and served as athletic director from 1976-94. He was a Regent's Professor Emeritus of Exercise Science and Sport Studies.
In honor of the legendary coach Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed October 15th as "John Gagliardi Day."