SJU Football Coach Gagliardi Will Retire

Updated: 11/19/2012 10:34 PM By: Cassie Hart

Legendary football coach John Gagliardi has announced he’s retiring from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

Gagliardi has coached for 64 years, and 60 of those seasons have been with the Johnnies. He’s the all-time winningest coach in college football history, regardless of divisions.

Gagliardi will remain on staff until his current contract expires June 30, 2013. The school will begin the search immediately for a new head football coach.

The Press Secretary released a statement regarding the announcement:

"On behalf of the President, I want to congratulate John Gagliardi on his retirement as the winningest coach in college football history. Over the course of 64 seasons – 60 of them at his beloved Saint John’s – Gagliardi’s 486 wins put him among the greatest to ever coach the game.  With a career that began as a 16-year-old after his high school coach was called to serve in World War II, Gagliardi was never the most conventional figure.  He instructed his players to call him 'John' instead of 'Coach,' and in turn, called each of his more than 100 players by their first names.  His refusal to allow tackling in practice and his insistence that players make class before practice also became the stuff of legend.  But the unusual methods worked – earning St. John’s four national championships.  And even as his time on the gridiron comes to a close, Gagliardi’s genuine concern for players as scholar athletes and human beings will ensure that his influence will be felt for years to come."

Eden Prairie Head Coach Mike Grant is among the possible successors.