Coach Gagliardi's coaching legacy one to aspire to

Author: Jerry Reeder, ASEP Assistant Executive Director


My favorite time of year is quickly approaching. The holiday season provides me with a rush of activities that I truly enjoy. My wife and I have been blessed with four wonderful children. Unfortunately, our four wonderful children reside in four different states, which makes their homecoming during the holiday season a highly anticipated occasion!

In addition to having the kids home for Christmas, I look forward to the football. My 35-plus years of coaching has turned me into a football junkie. With 35 bowl games on tap, my habit is more than satisfied during the holiday season!

This past week Saint John's University (Minn.) legendary football coach John Gagliardi announced his retirement. Coach Gagliardi just completed his 70th year in the coaching profession and retires as the winningest coach in college football history. Gagliardi ends his storied career with a 489-138-11 record. "Arguably, John Gagliardi has impacted the lives of as many young men as any individual in the history of Saint John's University,” SJU President Dr. Michael Hemesath said. “His legacy of educating young men at Saint John's is one that any coach or professor would envy. The kind of loyalty and commitment John showed to Saint John's and his student-athletes is rare and exemplary. It is an example of how John modeled good character and ethical behavior for his student-athletes and the community for 60 years."

The holiday season also brings with it a much deserved break for those of you that are actively employed as athletic directors or sport administrators. As you reflect on the season past and look to the future of your sport programs, now is a great time to evaluate the role your coaches play in the development of your student athletes. Not many of us will have the opportunity to work with an accomplished coach like St. John’s John Gagliardi. But it’s important for us to remember that every coach, regardless of their success or their longevity, will influence the kids in their programs. The question we must ask as we evaluate our coaches is, are they modeling the character and ethnical behavior that exemplified Coach Gagliardi’s career? It’s our role as athletic administrators to equip them to be the best coaches they can possibly be, which obviously includes character and ethical development.

As ASEP instructors, I think we can agree there is no better tool for us to provide our coaches than experiencing Coaching Principles in the classroom. If it has been a while since you held a classroom course, I encourage you to get back in the swing of things and schedule a class for your spring season coaches. The fourth edition Coaching Principles instructor resources are yours free for the asking. Give me a call or drop me a line, and I will get your instructor resources in the mail. If you are a new instructor and need assistance in scheduling your first class, I am at your service. For those of you that are actively teaching, I tip my cap to you and congratulate you on the service you are providing your coaches.

For those of you heading to San Antonio for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) annual convention on December 15-17, be sure to stop by the Human Kinetics booth (number 620) in the exhibit hall. We would enjoy the opportunity to say hello and show you our latest resources for sport administrators and coaches.

In closing, I want to wish you a happy holiday season, a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year. I look forward to working with you in 2013; together we can make a difference in the next generation of coaches!

God Bless

Coach Reeder