John Gagliardi has done something no other human being has ever done. He has coached college football teams to 449 wins in 59 collegiate seasons.
John has only coached at two places in his 59-year college football-coaching career. John's first assignment was at Carroll College in Helena, Montana during the 1949 to 1952 seasons, winning three conference championships in those four seasons. John Gagliardi's next venture would bring him east to take on the head coaching position at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The Johnnies had not won a conference title in 15 years when John Gagliardi arrived to take over the program from legendary coach and charter member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, Johnny "Blood" McNally. John Gagliardi has remained at Saint John's for the balance of his career. During his time at Saint John's Gagliardi has coached the Johnnies to 28 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic championshipships and 4 National Championships.
Along the way Gagliardi's teams have a combined record of 449-120-11 during his 59 seasons. His 1993 Saint John's squad was know as "The Point a Minute Team" setting a national record by averaging 61.5 points per game that season, establishing a scoring record that may never be equaled in college football.
John Gagliardi and the Saint John's University Johnnies football team has been the subject of many national publications over the years such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated. The Today Show and CBS News Sunday Morning have also done featured pieces on Gagliardi and the Johnnies for their television shows.
During the 1999 season, Sports Illustrated feature writer Austin Murphy moved his wife and two young children to Collegeville from the San Francisco Bay Area to spend the season with the Johnnies. The result of his time in Stearns County living with and writing about the team was a book named The Sweet Season published by Harper Collins.
One of the main subjects of interest that visiting reporters have when covering Gagliardi and the Johnnies are the principles of "Winning With Nos" · No blocking sleds or dummies · No Scholarships · No compulsory weightlifting program · No whistles · No "coach" – the players call him John · No tackling in practice- the players wear shorts and sweats
Gagliardi has realized a long time ago that having a different outlook at the way football is coached is not for everyone, but it has worked out well for him, something his 59 year .783 winning percentage is proof of.
Another in a long line of accomplishments for John Gagliardi came during the summer of 2006 as John was the first active coach inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.
John Gagliardi will turn 81 years young on November 1,2007 with no signs of slowing down. Gagliardi has repeatedly stated that he has no intentions of retiring as long as he is in good health and he is still enjoying coaching football.
Nothing typifies John Gagliardi and the Saint John's University Johnnies better than the often-heard mantra of, "ordinary people doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." There is nothing ordinary about this bunch!