Top 12 Minnesota sports stories in 2012: Gagliardi calls it quits

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 20, 2012 - 9:42 PM

John Gagliardi walked off the field at the end of the game against Bethel, which proved to be his final game as Johnnies coach.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The end of 2012 is quickly approaching; as such, we have compiled the top 12 Minnesota sports stories -- positive or negative -- from the year. We'll be counting them down every weekday from now until Jan. 1, when the top story will run. Here is No. 8:

Only 10 coaches in college football history have won at least 300 games. John Gagliardi, a man who came to symbolize St. John's, stands atop that list with nearly 500.

But at age 86, after having coached 60 years at St. John's and having 489 career victories in the bank, Gagliardi in November announced his retirement. It was a national story that even drew a response from the White House.

Gagliardi and the Johnnies won two NAIA national titles and two NCAA Division III titles -- the last of which came 2003, the year Gagliardi set the record for college coaching victories with his 409th. In his later years, he became known mostly for his longevity; those who played for him and knew him best also noted how much of an offensive innovator he was. He drew perhaps just as much acclaim for his unusual policies, which included not cutting players.

"What isn't written about is how many lives he's touched," former player Blake Elliott said after Gagliardi's retirement. "Think about what not cutting guys means: 60 years with 190 guys on every team. That's thousands of people that have had a positive impact by being around John."

Indeed. There are massive shoes to fill. The Johnnies are down to three candidates to replace Gagliardi, with a decision expected to come very soon as 2012 draws to a close.

  • related content


    Thursday December 20, 2012

    MARK IT A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers, according to @Sullivan_Ranger. Warm up those boo boxes: Texas comes to town April 25.


    Thursday December 20, 2012

    This should be a no-brainer, but if you have any plans at noon Sunday other than to be in front of a television to watch Adrian Peterson's quest for history,...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Washington - WP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Philadelphia - WP: S. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
Toronto - LP: J. Francis 7 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: M. Rzepczynski 10
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 5
Tampa Bay - LP: S. Geltz 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: T. Hunter 4
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 13
Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 4
Seattle - LP: C. Smith 6 FINAL
Houston - WP: P. Neshek 7
Pittsburgh - LP: R. Liz 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Socolovich 3
Milwaukee - WP: W. Smith 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 3
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 7 FINAL
Texas - LP: Y. Gallardo 1
LA Angels - LP: J. Weaver 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 5
Colorado - LP: K. Kendrick 6 FINAL
San Diego - WP: J. Shields 8
Arizona - LP: E. Marshall 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Howell 1
NY Yankees - WP: A. Warren 8 FINAL
Boston - LP: J. Kelly 5
Washington 104 FINAL
Atlanta 98
Memphis 86 FINAL
Golden State 101
Tampa Bay 6 FINAL
Montreal 2
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Calgary 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Seattle 3 FINAL
New York City 1
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Does it bother you that Tyus Jones chose Duke over Minnesota?

Weekly Question