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Top 10 – #4 John Gagliardi Retires

John Gagliardi
John Gagliardi, Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

COLLEGEVILLE – We continue with our countdown of the Top 10 Local News Stories of 2012, and today (Thursday) we’re at our #4 story of the year.  It’s a story we all new was going to happen eventually, but nobody really wanted to hear it.

Most of us were not alive the last time someone other than John Gagliardi coached the St. John’s University football team.  This past season was his 60th as the Johnnie’s head coach.  But, we all knew he couldn’t keep coaching forever. He turned 86 years old in November.

On Monday, November 19th, reporters, members of his team, and his family all crammed into a room at the St. John’s sports facility to see the legend hold his last news conference, and make it official, he was stepping down.

Gagliardi leaves as one of the best to ever coach the game.  In his 64 years total he has 489 wins, making him the all-time winningest coach in college football.  He took the Johnnie’s to four national titles.  And we was the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

However, despite all of his success, the connections he made with his players seems to be what mattered most to Gagliardi.

Meanwhile, the search to replace Coach Gagliardi on the sideline continues. The three finalists for the job are: Eden Prairie Head Football coach Mike Grant, longtime St. John’s assistant coach Gary Fasching, and former Carleton head coach and St. John’s quarterback Kurt Ramler. An announcement on which one will get the job is expected to be made in the next few days.

We will continue with our countdown of the Top 10 Local News Stories of 2012 tomorrow (Friday), with the #3 story of the year.

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