Monday, April 30, 2012

John Gagliardi and the Gospel of No (From current issue of Sports Life Magazine)

John Gagliardi and the Gospel of No
By Rick Kelsheimer

John Gagliardi has won more college football games than any coach who has ever lived. His career record of 484-133-11 puts him far ahead of Penn State’s Joe Paterno with 409 wins and  the late Eddie Robinson with 408. The 85 year old Gagliardi just completed his 59th season as the Head Football Coach of the Saint John’s University Johnnies in Collegeville, Minnesota and has no plans for retirement in the near future.  Under Gagliardi, the Johnnies have won 4 national championships and 27 conference championships. In 2006 Gagliardi was elected to the College Hall of Fame, becoming only one of three active coaches to do so. Joe Paterno and Chris Ault from the University of Nevada are the other two.
The fact that John Gagliardi has been so successful at Saint John’s over a long period of time is one thing; the way that he has gone about doing it is another. Gagliardi has a list of “no’s” in his coaching philosophy that might leave the average fan and other football coaches scratching their collective heads. Here are some examples:
· No blocking sleds or dummies
· No athletic scholarships
· No compulsory weightlifting program
· No whistles
· No "coach" - players call him John
· No tackling in practice - players wear shorts or sweats
· No long practices - an hour and a half or less
Gagliardi wants to set an environment where his players have fun and still live up to his high expectations. He uses a system of stressing fundamentals and repetition of running plays on offense and attacking the play on defense at the most critical point. By emphasizing thoughtful repetition and flawless execution in practice, everything seems second nature in the games.
As far as his policy of no tacking or blocking in practice, Gagliardi explains his theory. “All of our players know how to tackle in high school. I feel that by having a lot of physical contact, all you do is expose your players to injury. “You can have the best players in the country, but what good can they do if they break an arm in practice?”
“We feel lucky to have A National Treasure in John Gagliardi,” says Saint John’s Athletic Director Tom Stock. He’s a legend around here. His life experiences could fill countless books. He has coached in eight decades and built something special up here in Minnesota. We lead all Division III schools in attendance will over 10,000 per game. That’s quite a testimony to John. He’s slowed down a little over the years. Now he drives his golf cart around the practice field, but he hasn’t lost the fire. Don’t let his calm demeanor fool you. He still loves to win and hates to lose. John likes to joke that he’d like to coach another one or two decades. That’s not bad for a guy who started coaching when the players still had leather helmets.”
“It’s been a down year for us at Saint John’s” explains Stock. “We have a young team and it showed on the field. John seems to take it all in stride, though. He says that adversity builds character and its great time for teaching.”

According to Stock, Gagliardi also likes to get involved in the personal lives of his players. “John’s been known to be a bit of a match maker around campus. He tells the girls at a sister college that football players make the best husbands. And of those—offensive lineman make the best of the best. The reason he gives is that they always work harder than everyone else and never complain. It’s difficult for him not to get involved. He is actually coaching the grandsons of some his former players.”
 Gagliardi has been known to pull a star player so they can take the LSAT or MSAT exams.   
After he graduated from Colorado College in 1949, Gagliardi’s first college coaching position was at Carroll College in Helena, Mont. The college was thinking about dropping football because of losing seasons and lack of interest. Gagliardi led Carroll to three conference titles in his first four seasons as a college coach. Gagliardi also coached basketball and baseball at Carroll.
His success at Carroll, caught the attention of Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Saint John's needed a coach to succeed the legendary Johnny "Blood" McNally, a charter member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Compared to Carroll, Saint John's football program was healthy before Gagliardi's arrival, but not exactly thriving. SJU had not won a conference title in 15 years. Gagliardi took over the program in 1953 full of optimism. Meanwhile, Blood offered this gloomy prediction: "Nobody could ever win at Saint John's."
Gagliardi proved McNally wrong by winning the MIAC title that fall. He also won championships with Saint John’s track team, and he also coached the 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.
After 59 seasons, Gagliardi’s resume’ is mind boggling, He has coached four national championship teams (1963, 1965, 1976 and 2003), and made the 2000 national title game. His teams have reached the national semifinals as well in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2001 and 2002. In 2001, Gagliardi became only the third coach in NCAA college football history to coach 500 career games.
As a collegiate coach, Gagliardi's teams have won 30 conference titles and have appeared in 58 post-season games. In the past 44 years, SJU has been nationally ranked 43 times, and it owns a 39-19 postseason record. In 1993, SJU averaged 61.5 points per game, setting a record that might never be broken.

After a 2-4 start it looked like Saint John’s was destined to have their first losing season since 1967. There was speculation that Gagliardi might not come back next season and retire. But the Johnnies ended the season with four straight victories and a 6-4 record.
On November 17, Gagliardi ended the rumors and told the St Cloud Times that he would come back for his 60th year at Saint John’s. "There's that satellite up there in space they say could come crashing back to Earth," Gagliardi told the newspaper, joking. "That could hit my car as I'm driving home. If that happens, I won't be back."
“We plan on holding John to his word when he said he wanted to stay around here for another couple of decades,” jokes Stock. “John Gagliardi is Saint John’s football.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Difference Between Misfortune and Disaster

Two philosophers were sitting at a restaurant, discussing whether or not there was a difference between misfortune and disaster. There is most certainly a difference, said one. If the cook suddenly died and we couldnt have our dinner that would be a misfortune --- but certainly not a disaster. On the other hand, if a cruise ship carrying the Congress was to sink in the middle of the ocean, that would be a disaster--- but by no stretch of the imagination would it be a misfortune.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marriage Counseling

A husband and wife were with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up. "Oh, we'll never need that. My husband and I have a great relationship," the wife explained. "It's all about education," she continued. "He took a communication course in college and I studied drama. He communicates very well and I act like I'm listening."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Intelligent Life

I found this funny after a long day of working with the public.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boeing 797 (Pretty Cool)

It can comfortably fly 10,000 Miles (16,000 km) at Mach 0.88 or 654 mph (1,046 km/h)
with 1000 passengers on board !

The BOEING 797
Boeing is preparing this 1000 passenger Jet Liner that could reshape the Air Travel Industry. Its radical "Blended Wing & Fuselage" design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with NASA Langley Research Centre. The mammoth aircraft will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to 211 feet of its 747, and its been designed to fit within the newly created Air Terminals for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide. 

The new 797 is Boeing's direct response to the Airbus A380, which has racked up orders for 159 already. Boeing decided to kill its 747X Stretched Super Jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown for it by Airline Companies, but continued to develop its "Ultimate Airbus Crusher", the 797 at its Phantom Works Research Facility in Long Beach, California.
The Airbus A380 had been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 Billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage. More so because Airbus is thus committed to the older style tubular structure for their aircraft for decade to come.
 The date for the release of the 797 isn't known yet. I think that the bugs are still being worked out in Area 51
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Saturday, April 7, 2012