Even though I’ve have been swamped with tax season, I started reading it a couple weeks ago and ended up finishing it only two days later. Excellent read and I appreciate the time and effort you have put into writing the book. I’ve already tried to emulate ways to become a better leader both at home and at the workplace…it truly is an encouraging message throughout. Can’t say enough on how it has changed my perspective in certain areas of my life. Thank you.
I enjoyed reading your book! Very interesting and well written. There were lots of ideas for better communication.
A Legacy Unrivaled brought back a flood of memories. You've captured the wit and genius of John Gagliardi. John developed a "disruptive" model of coaching football and developing young men. The warmth of your personal relationship with John was conveyed throughout the book. His former players share this warm feeling and are thankful for being part of his legacy. Well done, Boz!
From reading your book it’s so clear how great a person, coach, teacher and role model John Gagliardi was, to his players, students, faculty and everyone else he met.It’s so awesome hearing the stories about people John met. He was so devoted to learn everything he could about these people, including, where they grew up, what year they were in school, what occupation they were going to college for and many other things, while not being motivated to talk about himself and his accomplishments. He is truly concerned about remembering all the people he’s met and remembering those people’s names!
I’m trying to incorporate all these tactics into my occupation at the bank. Following his advice, of always introducing myself to new customers at the bank, and getting to know everything I can about them.
I also enjoyed all the keys to winning tips he used that helped him accomplish goals and become such a winning coach, and instill in his players the knowledge to win in football and also in life.
Your book was very well written and I enjoyed it immensely!
I enjoyed reading your book and your stories about John’s interaction with players.
Just thought I'd let you know I gave your book to my brother, who does not do a lot of pleasure reading, and he loved it. He especially liked all of the Gagliardi 'one liners.'
I am a slow reader, and I milked it as long as I could just to cherish for a few more days the countless charming and memorable vignettes you shared about John. I learned, too, that the man I so admired as a young student also grew and evolved after I left St. John's. I should not have been surprised. I am even prouder of him now, after reading your book, and am even more grateful to him for having influenced me in such a wholesome way.
I just finished A Legacy Unrivaled and I wanted to say thank you for a really wonderful read. John's legacy reaches those who briefly met him, thanks for helping provide a more insightful look into the story of a man who we can all learn so much from.
LOVED the book- well done and great story!
Hi Boz – loved the book sir…truly brought back good memories and I think it reminded me of a lot of John’s keys on how to be successful in life. Definitely will read again in the future. Well done.
. I wanted to reach out to you as I just finished your book – A Legacy Unrivaled. I don’t normally send notes to people like this, but I enjoyed your book so much I wanted to make sure you heard my feedback! I had bought the book when I was on campus for a football game this fall and assumed it was just another book about St. John’s football. I gave it to my dad, who is a big Johnnie football fan, to read. He had such great reviews on the book, I figured I’d read it too – I still thought it was another book about football. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was about so much more than football. I never took John’s class, but I now feel like I got to be a part of it. It was fun to read about John’s history, understand his sense of humor and learn some life lessons along the way. I hope I can better incorporate his leadership philosophy throughout my career!
I found the book very interesting. I had a hard time putting it down. I finished it in much less time then other books. St Johns was a big part of our lives when Trent played there. The book brought back many fond memories.
I wish to say that your book on John Gagliardi was GREAT. So many memories and good material on a great man. Thank you – it made me a better person.
I finished the book tonight. I found myself wishing it wouldn't end. Such a great read. Not sure if you recall but I practiced for John for 2 years. I wasn't going to play ball my freshman year but when I arrived at SJU I felt I had to be a part of his team. So I went and chatted with John. He asked me what I played in High school and when I said "Left Defensive end"' he said, "your a tight end now.” Some of my favorite times at SJU were on the scout teams. I love telling people I was on the team and part of the tradition. John introduced my sister and brother in law in his class as well.
I finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Obviously, much of the book revolved around John's class and rightfully so. But I really liked the stories from former players and their memories of John!
Boz, great job on the book. It was an easy read and brought back a lot of memories. I finished it in a couple of nights. I could not put it down. I am sure that just about everyone who ever played for John will love it. Those people whoever wondered about St. John's or St. John's football will enjoy it also. A special thanks for the parts about Peg and the Gagliardi family. I am glad people will get to know something about them. I am reading the book a 2nd time and I still laugh at some of the same jokes and one liners. I am guessing you are getting a lot of feedback and even some new stories. When can we expect the sequel? Put me on the list!!!
I read the book and enjoyed it very much. It brought back great memories of my time at SJU spent with the team and with John. It also reminded me of the positive influence that John and my teammates had on me during my time there. A great experience for life and for football. I initially attended a Division II school on a football scholarship. Leaving there and graduating from SJU was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Your book reinforces that.
The book was awesome; I think Boz did a tremendous job of depicting who exactly John is as a person. I loved reading all of his one-liners again. I don't think you could have done a better job.
I really enjoyed the book! I could visualize being in class with John and Boz hit the nail on the head with all of his qualities (good listener, generous in giving praise, strategic use of humor, high expectations, humility, and so many more).
I want to CONGRATULATE you for capturing John so perfectly in your book!!
The book is awesome. I read it with my 6th grade son and he loved it.
Just finished reading Boz's new book on the life and legacy of John Gagliardi. A great read! It's a book I'll encourage my ministry apprentice participants to read as part of their personal leadership development.
Thanks so much for the great book on John! I enjoyed it so much. I am a former player from 1963-65 and really appreciate all that John gave to us. The lessons that we used all of our lives, and the confidence he instilled to let all of us participate in the American dream. Thanks for capturing all that he gave to us and many others.
Great work! Written only as a former Johnnie football player who knew John well could have written it! I laughed again at John's jokes that I've heard many times, as well as some of the new ones you write about. Taking readers inside of John's "Theory of Football" class really allows people to see what makes him so special as a coach. I could just see John saying the things to our team that you write about. John is a truly unique individual and a blessing for St. John's University and the many athletes who played for him over the years. I think you've captured the essence of the man and what makes him such a unique human being. There is no question in my mind that John's greatest quality is his ability to make people feel that they are important and capable of doing great things - on and off the field. Even at this stage in his life, John wrote in my book last Wednesday: "Bruce, you were (are) one of our greatest". Knowing that he writes that in every former player's book doesn't matter. The feeling of pride in receiving such a compliment from someone of John's caliber, even at my old age of 66, reinforces why so many think so highly of him. Thanks for your effort in writing such a great book about John's Legacy!
I just finished your book and though it was fabulous. I loved reading it after taking John's class, it made me wish I could take it all over again. You should be proud of the book, it will impact many people including myself!
Great book for a great coach and brother. Boz, you captured the best and real facts of John's way of doing what has made him successful..He has always been an innovator in new ways to "go with the flow" but did it his way. His class reviews that I have read for many years give validation of how his students and players believe and love him.
The book was unlike what is expected: no long lists of his accomplishment, but simply a look how he lives his life and influences people around him. Your association writing was not only as observer but, participant as a player, student, colleague and close friend. All of the stories you relate are very personal.
You did a remarkable job of capturing his personal life as a parent and humble man as well his success in various sports he has coaches.
John's variety of his jokes are classic and memorable as well. I've also have heard and read them many times and I still laugh at his great timing to capture his audience. He is a great speaker and conversationalist I think he got some this from my Father who loved to "trap" our friends to discuss religion. John has that gift, but wants to trap them to talk about themselves. Nice turn around without them being aware. Not many people can do this.
Boz, thanks for writing this book. It makes me and all the family very, very proud of John.
Great book, Boz. For those of us that played for John and took his class, the history is well known and the punchlines wonderfully nostalgic (That’s-a-once”). John’s approach to football and to life reached not only the four-year starters, but equally the guys that never quite cracked the lineup. One could take for granted such an experience – but we know better – because we were taught better. I’ve always been proud to be a Johnnie and to have learned from John. Your ability to capture what that means to so many and should mean to so many more is impressive.
I found the book very entertaining, an easy read and extremely well written. Besides providing us former players a closer look into John as a person, it was a reminder of how lucky we were to be part of something truly special. Many valuable lessons to be gained and I will recommend it to anyone regardless if they have a connection to Saint Johns. I thought you did an extraordinary job! As John would say..it was a 10 out of 10!
Some may see John Gagliardi’s coaching and classroom style as humorous but caring. That’s only a small part of the story. As a member of John’s first national championship team in 1963, and continuing to observe him over the years as a mentor and friend, I can attest that the least known secret on the SJU campus is that John is a superb educator/teacher. While his coaching techniques and tactics have evolved somewhat over the years, here’s what hasn’t changed. He has a firm set of Principles which guide his every action. They are: 1) He has a strong belief in the intelligence and common sense of his players, and demonstrates that trust by asking and involving players in game time decisions. 2) John emphasizes personal responsibility and accountability as a key activity toward individual growth. 3) He emphasizes planning and preparation, not just for football games, but for the game of life after SJU. 4) He has never wavered from his belief that every player must bring perfection of execution to practice and games – just like in life. 5) While he doesn’t say it this way, he provides opportunity for his players to learn leadership skills in small increments as preparation for becoming a leader after SJU, such as in being a captain for a game or leading game warm ups, or mentoring freshmen. This book, A Legacy Unrivaled, should be read with an eye toward seeing those Principles in action. The reward will be immense enjoyment as well as real value.
Boz, You hit it out of the park in capturing the simplicity of John's complex humanity or the complexity of his simple humanity. Easily the best book ever written about John and I will encourage my grandsons to read it for success in life. Thanks for sharing the great privilege you have experienced in your time with John.
What a great read!! The life lessons the are constantly mentioned are so true and dead on. Boz did a great job.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book--- you did a great job !!! I had many great memories rekindled by your book.
Hey there! Just wanted to let u know that I already finished the book by your friend and just wanted to let u know that I didn't really want to read it... I hate football and whatnot... Anyway I figured I would just "skim" it... Well, I tried to skim it but it turns out I really loved it! I cried when I read about John retiring... Thanks for "making" me read it.
I couldn't put the book down after I started it and absolutely loved it. What a great refresher of the lessons I learned in his course. You captured his personality and articulated the key lessons he taught us so well. At the time, I wasn't even aware of the lessons I learned and how important they are in the 'real world'. John is truly a legend and thank you for writing this book so all can see a glimpse at least of what he accomplished. Even for me, I was able to learn so much about him as I was only there at the 'end' of his career.
I would like to personally thank Boz for the fantastic portrayal of such an incredible human. I became familiar of John sometime in the early 2000s. After attending several games and gaining some level of insight as to the program and John himself, it convinced me to attend SJU. After receiving the book, I showed it to my wife who did not think much of it. When she saw your name, she seemed a bit more excited as she took a class or two of yours (sometime between 2005-2009) and enjoyed you as a professor. Needless to say, she read the book before I finished it and we both are extremely thankful for such a good depiction of who John is as a person. While readin gyour book I had laughs that brought me back to the all-too-familiar one liners I heard many times before. Additionally, the book brought moments where I choked up as it neared the end. While John may have retired from the game of football, football will never retire from John. More impmortantly, John's life lessons as you eloquently detailed are what I will carry with me forever. being so far away from Collegeville, I know your book can draw me back in an instance. I hope John's health continues to stay strong. Wish him well for me.
Wow! That was fun, and much-needed. Inspirational. Humorous. Motivational. Did I mention inspirational? You did a great job showing the character of a great man. and his principles of leadership. You showed how one man's purposeful use of his God-given gifts and talents can change the lives of thousands of others. Your book should be read by anyone who comes in contact with other human beings (which would, of course, make it the first 6+ billion best seller).
I just finished reading your book on John. Very well done. You really captured the essence of John and how important he was an dis to the lives of so many players and students. I want to thank you for the kindness you showed John and Peggy. As your book illustrates, many of John's players have expressed their thanks to John for all he has done, but you have taken that gratitude a step further by spending sustained time with John and really making him feel special. In a way you have been our spokesman in making John aware of how important he is to us. I am delighted to know you will continue to teach the leadership course with John as long as he is able and carry on beyond when he is unable. This will help ensure John's legacy will live on in the lives of future students.
Your book just kept me reading and reading and most of all...enjoying every word. So many lessons for life to learn from it.
I just finished your book last night and thanks for a great read! I have never actually met John but feel like I know a bit more about him and really about what makes SJU such a special place! As I read your book I really felt even more blessed that Joe is at SJU as a student and a football player. Thanks for writing and sharing a great story about a great man!
Finished the book a couple nights ago. Thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you. You did an impressive amount of research!
I wish to say that your book on John Gagliardi was GREAT. So many memories and good material on a great man. Thank you – it made me a better person.
You did a great job with the book, Boz. You draw out the human side of John so well, and at least for those of us who played for him, it is a vivid flashback with great insights to the times we cherished so much. The last few chapters brought tears. Thank you, Boz!
Thank you for honoring a true legacy with dignity and grace.
I have read a dozen books on leadership, this book is in the top two, True North by Bill George is the other. Needless to say, I found your book very moving. I am grateful for 'meeting' John through this book. I was elated that the book was not just about winning but revealed the characteristics of leadership and all the other traits that you so eloquently listed. Thank you very much for the time and effort you put into writing it, certainly your relationship with John is priceless, what a gift in and of itself.
Boz, first let me congratulate you on completing Legacy Unrivaled. I felt like I was right there with you on that great campus. What an honor it must have been to be able to spend as much time with John as you did. I'm sure there are many current and former players that envy you for that. Great work, Boz!
So...great job...now, he is touching the lives of younger generations too...great team, great school, great Benedictine community, great book!
I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It made me laugh and it made me tear up a few times as well. What a blessing it is for all of us former players that you have been able to be close to John for the last several years and chronicle his final year of coaching and into his retirement. I'm happy that he has been able to teach his class and continue to pass on his wisdom to students.
I just finished reading your book. All I can say is WOW! What an honor you did for John who had such a great influence on you and many, many others. I ran out of ink in my red Pilot pen underlining statements I cherished and many new statements that means a mountain to me. To "John" what a great man, wished I had the opportunity to play for him.
I must say that I have read every book ever written about John and enjoyed them all. But you have really captured the essence of John. The insights and perspectives were from a new angle. Being an insider, you lived through “ all things John” and also added great thoughts from a wide ranging group of players. My wife is now reading the book. I suggested but never insisted she read the other books on him. The many references to his classroom teachings really added depth to the “John, the Coach”. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. It must have been an awesome experience.
I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your book. You did a great job capturing John and what makes him such a great leader. I know you put a lot of time in to the book and am glad to see it is such a success.
I finally read the book! I couldn't put it down, actually. I was on a work trip in California, and I read the whole thing on the plane ride over. I found it thoroughly entertaining. I laughed aloud a number of times, and was smiling when I wasn't laughing.
I just finished reading your book a minute ago. I don't even know what words to use to describe what a fantastic job you did. You should be very proud! You captured every bit of who John was as a leader and what he meant to us! Thanks for writing the book! I hope to come sit in on your class sometime!
I just finished your book after picking it up at the football kickoff luncheon a week ago. I enjoyed reading it and wanted to let you know. I do give John credit for helping shape my career and mold my character. I left football at St. John's longing for more. John's style did not burn me out. Because of that I went into teaching and coaching. I look back and think I did okay. When I retired I would tell people that when I counted up all the students I worked with the number approached 10,000. Sounds hard to believe. But where I taught we had semester classes. Get 150 kids the first semester and another 100 or so new students the second and the numbers add up quickly. Then consider that I coached football for 25 years, basketball for 10 and track for 5 years, I think you can see how I got that number. (10,000). The vast majority of these would say I had strong positive influence in their lives. Thus John's influence extended far beyond just me. Indirectly he helped mold thousands of young men and women.
The book was very well done and brought back a lot of memories of my years on campus and playing football, as well as realizing John's class hasn't changed in over the past 30-some years!
I thought the book was just great and you certainly captured the ultimate humanity of this incredible Man. Thanks so much for the memories!
I read the book and enjoyed it immensely.
I bought the book immediately and read it right away. You captured all the things that make John such an amazing person and all the life lessons that we have learned from John.
What a beautiful memory you have given us, Boz. A LEGACY UNRIVALED will forever be THE resource for untold thousands who wish to study the life of one the greatest teachers and coaches of any sport the world has ever seen. Your book has detailed many of the facets of John’s character, his hopes, his dreams, his tactics, his visions for his student athletes, especially his approach to discovering that ‘nugget of greatness’ that slumbers within every human being, ultimately calling it forth to be shared with one another.
I thank you so very much for working so long and hard to scribe this beautiful record of a man called John.
My mother gifted me A Legacy Unrivaled for Christmas, and after finishing the book I want to thank you for taking the time to tell the stories of John. It was an excellent read and I appreciate all the effort and work that it took to tell his stories.
I wished to thank you for writing your book about John Gagliardi. A friend and colleague has told me much about John, and when I heard about your book I ordered it from Amazon. Two days later it arrived, and one day later I read it one sitting. What an amazing man! The stories must be endless, and it is always interesting to me how the stories about coaches dominate our memories. Probably has a lot to do with how much time we spend together in the season, and I think what we learned from our coaches is the manner or the philosophy in which we then acquire other knowledge and training. While I have never met John Gagliardi, I have clearly learned something from him. I have taken to heart what you described so well in his classroom: John made sure that students introduced themselves to each other. My take-away is that I have decided that I can do a better job at introducing myself and getting to know other people, and it has made a difference. Thank you again for writing a wonderful book.
I bought one copy of the book and told myself that if it was good I would buy copies for each of my kids. I'm now back to buy those copies for my kids!
My dad is a retired football coach and I gave him your book for Christmas. He doesn't read much, but he your book right away. He called me up and told me he loved it. He said, "This isn't really a book about being a great football coach, it is a book about how to be great at life!"
We have never met but I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I am enjoying your book. My wife ordered it a couple of months ago and gave it to me on Christmas morning. You’ve really managed to capture the heart and soul of John. It has made your book such a joy to read.
Last night I finished your book. I really enjoyed it and loved how you were able to “journal” your developing relationship with John. What a blessing for you to have been able to experience this. I am going to get the book to my son. I hope he enjoys and learns from it as much as I did.
I want to thank you for your wonderful book about Coach Gagliardi. I just finished it...thoroughly enjoyed it and especially all the comments and insights from so many of his former players about what made him so unique and successful as a coach and mentor.
Boz, You captured the essence of having played for John exceptionally well. It made me feel like I was right back there on the field, in the auditorium watching film and of course hanging around John's office talking to recruits and having him help us find dates from St. Ben's. The book is great and I am truly blessed to have been a small part of the fabric that makes up the great St. John's football tradition. Your relationship with John is pretty special and it sounds like you are making the most of it. Thanks for putting this great experience on paper for all to enjoy.
Great job on the book – I really enjoyed it!
Hey Boz! My wife purchased your book for me for Christmas and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Brought back a lot of memories and made me realize how lucky I was to play for John.
This is a fun book that reads more like a guide for approaching life.
A really good read. I loved the book. Many things about John I did not know. I recommend it highly.
Boz, I just finished reading your book. I truly enjoyed the journey with you. You obviously worked very hard getting input from so many players. The real "John" was clearly and extremely well presented - Congratulations! Thanks for putting all the great memories together, you are a gifted writer.
It was so much more than a book about football. John ran a very good program helping to lead emerging young men and professionals at Saint John’s. I believe anyone reading this book would take away something applicable in their own lives.
I finished the book. It was a great read. Excellent job and I mean it. John is obviously quite a guy…humble, very funny, passionate, friendly, etc. I really enjoyed how you developed his character to the reader, using the class setting and your visits to his office and home (somewhat reminded me of Tuesdays with Morrie…an old man, young man (you) and the sharing of life lessons). Reading it made me wish I had been able to attend SJU and get to know John. Thanks for sharing the book. You are a multi-talented guy. SJU is lucky to have a guy like you to carry on for John.
John's story should be required reading for any current or prospective coaches. I found the conversation-like tone of the book quite engaging -- almost like I was an active participant in your fireside chats. I had no prior Johnnie connections until I devoured your book. As a coach and teacher, I appreciate reading about a difference-maker more concerned with character than winning. Football lasts a little while. Your character is your fate, though.
I meant to tell you how much my Grandpa enjoyed your book. He hadn't read a book cover to cover in years. He ended up finishing yours within the Christmas weekend and really enjoyed it.
Det är ovanligt och trevligt med en biografi där huvudpersonen fokuserar mer på andra personer än sig själv.
It's better to be interested than interesting, något som många borde ta fasta på!
Gagliardi har några punkter som har som mantra för sina spelare :
Att verkligen lära känna varandra och att LYSSNA på vad andra säger
(Läste en debattartikel om det i Dagens Nyheter: om hur förödande det är att bara umgås med folk som tycker likadant,
Kanske finns det inte heller några givna svar på "stora" frågor,det är komplext med andra ord,så att det inte uppfattas som ett svaghetstecken att faktiskt inte vara säker på vad man tycker)
Deligera : att ge spelarna utrymme för egna initiativ , något som jag tycker många chefer borde tänka på så att dom inte lägger sig i allt.Tänk dig själv att ha ett arbete där man inte har/får ta ansvar och där ledning gen inte litar på en! Då växer man som person.
Vikten av att komma i tid ( studenterna förväntades komma 5 min innan utsatt tid för lektionen)
Att "magkänslan" är viktig, jag tror det var Boz som sa att han kommitt in på 2 college, det ena var mkt billigare men han ville ändå gå på st John för att det KÄNDES bättre,mer välkomnande,det ska inte underskattas.Sedan var det tvärtom:han lämnade ett högt betalande arbete för att bli professor på st John där han fick lägre betalt men trivdes ändå bättre.
Skillnad på att "bara" vara lärare och en engagerad lärare
Medmänsklighet, med andra ord att universitetsåren/skolan ska ge "learning for life"som förmodligen sammanfattar hela boken.
Hur Gagliardo värderade allas lika värde,att en städare är lika viktig som någon i ledningen.
För egentligen är det ju så att inget bestående lärande sker om man inte VILL lära sig och känner menig. Det är därför oerhört viktigt att jobba med att skapa bra gruppdynamik.
Det jag också slogs av var Gagliardos kärlek till sin fru.
Inser mer och mer vilket fantastiskt college du går på! Och det är du,alla studenter,lärare och all personal som bidrar till det.Spelar ingen roll hur fina lokaler man än har om man inte har bra stämning.
Skulle nog vilja sammanfatta med orden Learning for Life där American fotball var en av många ingredienser (även om Gagliardo självklart var "besatt" av sporten.
Stort tack för boken!
English (rough translation):
It is unusual and with a biography in which the protagonist is focusing more on other people than himself. It's better to be interested than interesting, something that many should take note of. Gagliardi has some points that have the mantra for his players: To really get to know each other and to listen to what others say
Delegate: give players space for their own initiatives, which I think many managers should consider. Imagine to have a job where you do not have/must take responsibility and where the leadership do not trust you. That’s how you grow as a person.
The importance of arriving on time (students are expected to be 5 minutes before the scheduled time of the lesson)
That "gut feeling" is important, I think it was Boz who said he chose between two colleges, one was less expensive but he still wanted to go on St. John because it FELT better, more welcoming, it should not be underestimated. Later, it was the opposite: he left a high-paying job to become a professor at St. John where he was paid less but still enjoyed it more. Difference to "only" be a teacher and a committed teacher.
Humanity, in other words that the university years / school should provide "learning for life" which probably sums up the whole book.
How Gagliardi valued equality, that cleaners are as important as any in the lead. No permanent learning happens if you do not want to learn. It is therefore extremely important to work with to create good group dynamics.
I also was struck by was Gagliardi’s love for his wife.
I realize more and more what a fantastic college you go to. And it is you, all the students, teachers and all the staff who contribute. Doesn’t matter how good the facilities you have if there is no good atmosphere.
The conclusion: Learning for Life where American football was only one of many ingredients.
Many thanks for the book!
I found the book to be very enjoyable with some good stories. You captured the main point I have felt for some time which is John built our confidence up without creating arrogant personalities. He knew who needed some trimming of ego and those needing an ego boost. We were all Midwest guys, many from farms (me) and small towns. We entered freshman year feeling awed by the upper classmen but true to SJU tradition, those older guys took us under there wings and helped make us a team. John oversaw all this but never forced that camaraderie on any players. It came natural and was part of the locker room.
What an incredible book. Quite an emotional journey reading this. So many thoughts. It's very affirming to me as a coach that I possess a few qualities of John. At the same time, so so humbling that I have a long way to go to in so many other areas that you articulated and captured so well. I certainly chose the right guy in John to admire, respect and in many ways steal ideas from. The amount of humor and humility is such a great example, not just for coaches or players, but for all men. I found myself in tears a few times in your closing chapters. I am now going back through it with my highlighter, post it notes, and colored pens. I am going to be a better football coach because of your book. More importantly, I am going to strive to be a better husband, father and friend. It sincerely made a tremendous impact on me Boz. I feel like I know you as well as as John now after reading it. You really nailed it Boz. I am sure all of your fellow Johnnie teammates and classmates must feel the same way with how you put into words what a "real legend" is all about. I feel like I could write a book myself letting you know how much I enjoyed this and how much it will continue to help me on a personal level.
As I’m a bit of a sports junkie, it seems almost impossible that I wasn’t familiar with John Gagliardi, but I have to admit that I was not. It was fun reading the book and learning about John and his legacy.
The book was great in every way – very informative and also enjoyable to read, with many takeaways that can be applied immediately to my life both personally and professionally. Boz does an excellent job at covering the life, career, and achievements of one of the most accomplished men I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. John’s genuine interest in others and ability to relate well with every person he comes across is truly second to none!
Great book! Although not a football player, nor having taken John’s class, I still enjoyed the stories!
Really loved your book. Very well done. You captured the essence of the man, the spirit, and legend.
Your book to me is a wonderful collage of stories about your encounters with Coach Gagliardi. I was most impressed the way you portray Coach as one who you would love to meet. Since I will probably never get the chance, I have to live here in Texas praying for this wonderful person. I have told my physics students about your book and have encouraged them to read it. I told them it is not about football, it’s about relationships.
I have always prided myself in being a teacher of life learning lessons and believe that your book does this as well as anything else that I can think of.
In my opinion, "A Legacy Unrivaled" is one of the greatest stories ever written. The style in which it is written makes it very easy for the reader to feel as if they are immersed and totally involved in each event being presented. As you presented details from John's classroom, I felt as if I was seated among the students waiting to be called out by John to introduce myself.
The manner in which you describe John conveys the essence of all that makes him so special to so many people. While the world of football is generally associated with arrogance and athleticism, John's balance of confidence with ignorance seems to have enabled him to establish bonds with all who are privileged to have come in contact with him.
I am so very pleased that you chose to undertake this project. I was not very familiar with John prior to reading the book, but now that I have completed it I feel as if I have known John all of my life. The world needs more John Gagliardi's, and I hope that you will proceed with a mass distribution of the book in order that more people become aware of the living legend that John is.
All I can say is WOW! What an amazing man John is, and how fortunate you must feel to have had a man, an influence like him in your life. As I read the book, I recognized that some of the “Keys to Winning” were things that I recognized as characteristics or perhaps practices I have seen in some of the better managers I have worked for over the years. As a classroom teacher, high school science, I can see that I need to adjust some of the things that I do, that I too might build a legacy. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone that works with people, oh, yes, that would be anyone. The skills and life lessons in this book could make anyone a better person and help them to help others become better people.
I finished your book last night - it was excellent! It made me wish I would have taken John’s class while at CSB/SJU. The impact he has had on so many people and the school is remarkable.
When I first received the book, I said to myself “oh, it’s another book about football and coaching.” Well it is true the book was about a football coach, but it is about much more than football and coaching. It is a book filled with lessons and examples on how to live a successful, purposeful, and happy life.
After reading this book, it reminded me of the type of man that I would like to be and taught me some of the keys to success in life. I didn’t know John personally, but I feel like I know him by what was written about him.
Every time I opened Boz Bostrom’s book A Legacy Unrivaled, I felt like I stepped into John Gagliardi’s office where I learned how important “I” was! John was a man who actively listened to both janitors and Presidents. John was a man who would be more interested in hearing “my” story than telling about his own success. He got talented players to come to Saint John’s “by listening to them and encouraging them to tell about themselves.” John made himself available to listen. I believe he had a goodness about him that he used to show interest in helping his players succeed on the field, and in life.
The format was easy to follow with pictures that spanned John’s life and career. Loved seeing pictures of his students, players, and family. John remained a humble man, despite incredible success.
The key to this book and life is: “When you invest in others, your lessons live on long after your direct influence is gone.”
Loved entering the world of football, a place I usually don’t go, and seeing it through the eyes of a former football player telling about a brilliant coach who truly loved his players, and the game.
I purchased your book from you earlier this week and flew through it on my train ride home. I really enjoyed reading it, and as Lou Holtz said, I think that I am a better person after reading it. I really took a liking to the top of page 103, where you describe how John was perfectly happy at Carroll College, but by fate luckily ended up at Saint John's. I enjoyed this because it was the same experience I had, I was perfectly happy staying in my hometown Helena, Montana and going to Carroll College, but like John was invited to visit Saint John's and instantly knew it was the right place to be.
I have never had the opportunity to meet or play for John, however as a player and student at SJU I can see how his ideas and teachings still remain even with the new coaching staff. I just wanted to thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn about John, and giving me a much needed source of entertainment on this long train ride.
I binge-read your book in 2 days (which is extremely unlike me to do). It was incredible!! On several occasions, I was unable to put it down because I was so thoroughly entertained. It brought me to laughter and was a great conversation piece with my uncle (Mike Nawrocki, SJU Football '84-87) and grandpa (SJU Sports Enthusiast). It carried a great message and your voice held strong throughout the stories. You should be very proud! Thanks for all the work you put into that project.
Nice job on the book! Quite a man and coach – a lot of positive life long impact on players on and off the field, fellow faculty and the student body. A really good example of how to do things right, and how to win the big picture even if the opponent ends up with more points on the scoreboard of any one game.
I just wanted to send a note on the great job you did on your book. It certainly was not what I thought the book would be about. While we all know about John the football coach and his winning ways the book was so much more. His keys to winning are life lessons that we should all be following. Some are simple but important, but we don’t keep them in front of us and follow them daily like he has done all his life. I will be passing the book on to my partners and hope that it will also touch them in the way it did me. Thanks again for a great read.
When I picked up the book I thought it would be about success on the gridiron and the successful career of a football coach. John Gagliardi is more than a successful coach. He is a successful relational person. While I enjoyed reading the stories of the success on the gridiron, it was intriguing to me to read the relational aspect of the man and teacher that made him a great coach and person. As a pastor, I am all about developing relationships with people and how to value and show respect to them and share the message of the gospel. As I read the book and felt myself saying “that is what I need to do when meeting acquaintances new and old.” He has set an example that I can put into practice as a pastor.
I finished reading your book last week, and I loved it. I found myself staying up too late reading a few nights in a row because the book grabbed my attention right away and made me want to continue reading. It was interesting, inspiring, and funny. I found it inspiring as a teacher because John and your stories of him were great examples of how effective teachers connect with their students. We teachers at most workshops and meetings are reminded to “build relationships” with students. In your book you illustrated how John did this in his class, on the field, and in his office. This book reaffirmed for me the importance of listening to others and having confidence. These are two areas I personally need work on, so after reading this, I will set goals and strive improve in these areas, which will help me become a better teacher and a better and more likeable person. I liked that John was an example to others like me that success comes from working hard, being early, and being hard on yourself in order to improve while focusing on the positives in situations and in others (especially after a loss).
In addition to recommending this book to other teachers, I would recommend this book to leaders in business (like my husband), salespeople, and parents who are raising kids. All can learn lessons from John on how to successfully work with people, how to be a positive role model and a good person, and how to have a positive influence on others. After reading one chapter, I found myself coaching my kids on communicating with others, telling them, “Look the person in the eyes and be sure to introduce yourself first.” I also liked the first couple pages of Chapter 15 on the importance of being confident and if you are in a leadership role, you should learn to take responsibility. Say, “It’s my fault” and avoid blaming others.
I enjoyed the humor in this book and found myself laughing out loud at times. Besides giving me a lot of chuckles, the book also got to my emotions toward the end. I liked how you wrapped the book up with his retirement, which effectively got me a bit choked up.
Again, I really enjoyed it and will reread parts when I need inspiration.
It really was an amazing book. SJU was a great experience with great Profs, teammates, friends etc. I loved my Social Science profs, they all did an amazing job teaching their subjects, and if the occasion calls for a discussion about History, Philosophy, or Political Science, I can usually fall back on their teachings. The difference with John was that his subject was life, and every day I use something that John taught me, whether at work, home, or coaching. Reading that book brought back a lot a great memories, and it is very clear just how much of an influence John is. Thank you for writing this book, you did a great job.
I just wanted to tell you that I just finished reading your book and thought it was awesome. Not only did it bring back great memories from my years on campus and watching football games, it also brought back vivid memories of taking John's "Theory of Football" class in the Palaestra. I was constantly reminded throughout the book of why I am so proud to an alum of St. John's. I learned so many invaluable life lessons from John. I lived in the earth homes next door to John and I remember him stopping to chat with me and my roommates on several occasions on his walk home. He was always more interested in who we were and what we were doing than of talking about football, much like you talk about in the book. I thoroughly loved reading the book and couldn't put it down. I plan to buy many copies and give them out as Christmas presents this year. Thanks for the great book!
My wife Linda (CSB 1980) and I would like to thank you personally for a signed copy of your book. It is amazing what goes on under your nose and are for the most part so clueless about. For example, the Theory of Coaching Football class, some students scoffed at those classes! Now I know it was the best kept secret on both campuses.
We both enjoyed the book!
Lou Holtz, College Hall of Fame Coach and ESPN analyst: “John Gagliardi is a person we can all learn from. Not only will you enjoy reading this book; you will be a better person for having done so. John is a person I admire and respect. I’m thankful I got to know his personally, and I’ve certainly benefitted from our relationship. To know a person’s true value, ask these questions: If they didn’t show up, who would miss them and why? There aren’t many people we would miss more than John had he not shown up. As you read his story in A Legacy Unrivaled, you will soon realize why I admire and respect him so much.”
Sara Walsh, Anchor for ESPN’s SportsCenter: “When I met John in his office, he told me to check out a book on his shelf that explained everything he knew about coaching. The pages inside were totally blank. Yet here’s a man whose written the record books on winning and doing it the right way. Bostrom’s book captures John’s sense of humor and humility, combined with an unorthodox approach that’s propelled him to heights we’ve never seen in the game.”
Bud Grant, Hall of Fame Coach of the Minnesota Vikings: “The record of John is well documented, but no so much his dedication to his family and his former players who became his friends, and his love for and his loyalty to Saint John’s. It’s all here in this book, how he evolved with the times to become the greatest college coach of all time.”
Blake Elliott, 3-time All-American at Saint John’s and 2003 Division 3 player of the year: “John Gagliardi’s true legacy isn’t a record of wins, national championships, NFL players produced, or times his teams trounced its rivals, more than all that, it’s a legacy of someone who showed us how to be better at whatever we did after we put down the ball. He’s inspired generations of men, who, because of him, are better husbands, fathers, leaders, educators – simply better people. This is a must read not only for football fans, but for anyone who is looking to lead a richer life.”
Bob Sansevere, radio personality and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “Filling it with wit, insight, anecdotes, and life lessons, author Boz Bostrom offers an all-inclusive look at a man whose greatness as a coach is surpassed only by how great a person he is. John Gagliardi has done it his win for most of the past century, and based on his successes in coaching and in life, he has done it the right way.”