COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Hundreds of football players and fans are remembering beloved Minnesota coach John Gagliardi on Monday.

The former St. John’s football coach died a week ago at the age of 91. He coached the Johnnies for 60 years before stepping down 2012.

“There are painters, and then there is Michaelangelo. There are musicians, and then there is Mozart. There are writers, and then there is William Shakespeare. And of course, there are coaches and then there is John Gagliardi,” Father Timothy Backous of St. John’s Abbey said.

Father Timothy Backous led the funeral mass at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville Monday morning. He spoke of Gagliardi’s ability to use the game of football as way to teach life lessons.

Gagliardi is the all-time victory leader in college football, and led the Johnnies to four Division III national championships. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, four children and their families.

Gagliardi was honored Saturday as St. John’s hosted rival St. Thomas in MIAC football. The Johnnies remained unbeaten on the season after a 40-20 victory.

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