John Gagliardi, the winningest coach in college football history announced his retirement Monday, ending months of speculation that his 60th season at St. John's would be his final one.
"Seventy years (60 at SJU) is a long time to be doing the same job," Gagliardi said on St. John's website. "Luckily, I've always been blessed with great players, friends, family and support to make it this far."
Winning has proven to be more difficult the past three seasons and the 86-year old seemed to know the time was right.
"Nobody ever said that getting older was easy. I just can't do the job at the level I used to anymore," said Gagliardi.
Gagliardi became the head coach at St. John's in 1953 and he amassed four national titles in his tenure. Even more impressive was his teams winning percentage. Only three times during his time in Collegeville did the Johnnies fail to play .500 football. His 489 victories are the most in college football, and the Johnnies have 44 consecutive winning seasons as a program.
His most recent national title game came in 2003 as the Johnnies defeated Mount Union 24-6, it fell the same year Gagliardi set the national record for most college coaching wins. November 8th, 2003 Gagliardi won his 409th game, passing Grambling State's Eddie Robinson.
According to the website, the search for Gagliardi's replacement will begin immediately.