St. John's coaching legend John Gagliardi dies at 91

He's the winningest coach in college football history.
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St. John's University coaching icon John Gagliardi has died at the age of 91, his family announced on Facebook early Sunday morning. 

"It is with great sadness that the Gagliardi family announces the death of John Gagliari," his daughter, Gina Gagliardi Benson, wrote in the post. "John was a winner in so many ways, but mostly in his ability to connect with others. His appreciation of others ran so deep that it was the core of who John was."

Gagliardi, a 2006 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, coached at St. John's for six decades before retiring in 2012. He is the winningest coach in college football history, racking up 489 wins and four national championships over 64 seasons. 

Division III's outstanding player of the year has been awarded the Gagliardi Trophy since 1993. 

The Facebook post noted that John's greatest pride was his wife Peggy, saying he "was a great role model of what true love is." 

"In honor of John, today make an effort to do what was effortless for John: Compliment your spouse many, many times today; listen intently to others; and 'Be interested, not interesting.' See the best in others."

Gagliardi helped make the Johnnies' rivalry with the St. Thomas Tommies famous. Fittingly, the Johnnies and Tommies meet as undefeated rivals next Saturday. 

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St. John's University football coach John Gagliardi will reach a milestone Saturday when he coaches his 600th college game. The game against rival St. Thomas is expected to draw 15,000 fans for Gagliardi, who has won four Division 3 National Championships during his legendary career.