With August here, it's finally setting in for Jon Gagliardi. For the fist time in 70 years Gagliardi won't be roaming the sidelines as a coach this fall.
Think about that for a second....70 years. That's a long time for anyone to spend in one career, let alone in the coaching profession.
Gagliardi is 86 and started his head coaching career as a 16 year-old player coach in high school in Colorado. In all, he roamed the college sidelines for 64 years as a head coach, 60 years of that at St. John's. He announced his intention to retire last November, and while he's offically been retired since June, he still has an office on campus that he frequently stops by, and offers his advice to new head coach Gary Fasching and his staff whenever they ask.
After spending basically his entire life on the sideline with the Johnnies, Gagliardi had some interesting thoughts on the things that he will, and won't miss in a recent peice by the St. Cloud Times.
On what he won't miss:
Breaking hearts: “I won’t miss having to break hearts. That always bothered me about the job. Every player comes in here with high hopes and it can’t happen for everybody at any level."
Injuries to his players: “Injuries are another thing I won’t miss. They happen every football season, but when they happened to my guys it was always hard. It really bothered me. I hated to see them going through that. So at least I won’t have to worry about that so much anymore."
Losing: “Then there are the losses. They were always so bitter. The wins felt wonderful. But for some reason, the losses seemed to stand out further than the wins did. At least for me.”
On what he will miss:
Week to week preparation: “The preparation might be the biggest thing. As much as I won’t miss it, I think I will at the same time. Especially the exhilaration when everything comes together on the field. It’s amazing how much work and effort is exerted week to week. And when it’s done, you just move on to the next game.”
Easy to find parking: “I think my car is kind of like a horse. It just seems to find its way in here. Of course, I’m not the first one here anymore. So a lot of times I have to scrounge for a parking spot. “That’s been a pretty big change right there.”