03.11.09

John Gagliardi, Overlooked Again

Posted in Blogged Down, College Spurts, Gridiron at 9:51 pm by

SI.com’s Andy Staples asks:

Will this be Joe Paterno’s final season at Penn State?

With Florida State’s Bobby Bowden in danger of losing wins because of NCAA sanctions, Paterno, 82, seems to have a comfortable lead on the Division I-A wins list. If his lead looks insurmountable at the end of 2008, will that prompt him to retire? Or will Paterno, who currently boasts 393 wins, take a crack at breaking former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson‘s all-time record of 408?


It’s not like that record fell last season, either – John Gagliardi (above) has been the top guy since November 8, 2003, and now has 463 wins. Not coincidentally, he’s also the first active coach ever to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame – with Bowden and Paterno being the second and third.

Here’s my favorite thing about him though:

Gagliardi took over the program in 1953 with a mandate to turn the program around. Meanwhile, Blood offered this gloomy prediction: “Nobody could ever win at Saint John’s.”

Once again, Gagliardi surprised the skeptics by winning the MIAC title that fall. He also won championships with SJU’s track team, and he also coached the SJU hockey team for five seasons, compiling a 42-25-1 record, which is still the best career winning percentage of any hockey coach in school history. 

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