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Small school legend to retire

MINNEAPOLIS — John Gagliardi put sleepy Collegeville, Minn., on the national college football map with a style all his own.

After 60 years at Division III St. John's, four national titles and more victories than any coach in NCAA history, Gagliardi is calling it a career at the age of 86.

"It's unbelievable that I could make a living with a career in a game that is so popular and is such a huge business," Gagliardi said Monday after announcing his retirement. "To be a small part of that has just been wonderful."

He played a much larger role than he lets on, shirking the conventions of the stereotypical overbearing college coach. More teddy bear than Bear Bryant, Gagliardi banned whistles, tackling and, essentially, bad weather during practice.

If the notoriously thick swarms of central Minnesota mosquitos were out for blood, the coach who responded only to "John" simply called it a day.

"It was working," Gagliardi said. "So I figured I'll keep doing it."

Gagliardi started coaching college players in 1949 and spent the past six decades at the private school in central Minnesota. He retires with a record of 489-138-11 and surpassed Eddie Robinson for the career coaching victories record in 2003.

MINERS COACH DONE: UTEP coach Mike Price is retiring after a 31-year career notable for two Rose Bowl bids at Washington State and a drinking binge that cost him the Alabama job before he ever coached a game for the Crimson Tide. Price, 66, who started at Weber State in 1981, has a 177-182 career record and is sixth among active FBS coaches in wins.

COACH RIPS PLAYER: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill defended a forceful rebuke of leading receiver A.J. Barker that led to the player's abrupt departure from the program, saying he had to discipline him for a confrontation with the team's training staff. Barker quit the Golden Gophers on Sunday and went public with a scathing email that accused Kill of manipulative and borderline abusive behavior.

NORTHWESTERN: Coach Pat Fitzgerald said he expects quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark to play Saturday against Illinois. Mark sat out the second half of Saturday's 23-20 victory at Michigan State with what was called an upper extremity injury, and Colter was shaken up in the second half.

PENN ST.: Star senior linebacker Michael Mauti will miss Saturday's season finale against Wisconsin with a left knee injury.

TEXAS A&M: Freshman linebacker Michael Richardson was released from the hospital after surgery for a cervical spine injury that occurred against Sam Houston State on Saturday.

Small school legend to retire 11/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, November 19, 2012 7:48pm]
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