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Parcells on Coughlin: Proud to call him a friend

Posted Jan 5, 2016

Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells discussed his friend Tom Coughlin on the day he stepped down as Giants Coach


Everyone who gets into the business of coaching knows they’ll have to get off the train sometime.

For Tom Coughlin, that was Monday.

The two-time Super Bowl champion stepped down as head coach of the Giants after 12 seasons, three division titles and 110 total victories with the franchise. And no one knows what Coughlin is dealing with right now better than Bill Parcells.

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“It’s a sad day because he’s done such a magnificent job there with the Giants, and I think he portrays what a lot of us deem to be the kind of coach that can command respect, can be tough on his players, and yet has certainly a warm and friendly side,” Parcells said on ESPN. “We’ve been friends a long time, and I’m sad but I’m happy because it’s a new adventure and there’s another life out there as well. Guys like him always make it work.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame coach led the Giants to victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV, the latter of which Coughlin served as his wide receivers coach. They ended their tenures tied with eight postseason victories, the most ever by a Giants coach.

Parcells was asked what he thinks is going through Coughlin’s mind in the wake of the announcement.

“Well, the Giants are a special place,” Parcells said. “It’s a flagship franchise of the NFL and what the NFL has become. And he’s certainly done his part there and he’s done a terrific job.

“It’s not today. It’s when you’re alone at night with your own thoughts, by yourself, and there aren’t any family members around, there aren’t any of your coaches to talk to, or the players to think about and you’re not positive what’s next. That’s when your mind wanders and you wonder, ‘Hey, what is next?’ Because they’ve always put ‘football coach’ after your name, and right now or temporarily or maybe forever, they’re never going to put that after your name again. But that’s what he was and I’ll tell you, the league will miss guys like him. He’s been an important part of the NFL.”

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But will it be temporary?

“Well, I was the poster boy for not being able to get off the train,” said Parcells, who became the first person to coach four different teams into the playoffs. “No, it wouldn’t shock me [if he coaches again], but there are not many guys left our age doing that anymore -- a few, but not many. I think he’ll adjust, that’s what coaches do. They adapt to whatever happens, whether it be injuries or salary cap problems or player issues. They adapt, and he’ll do that. So I don’t have any concerns personally about him. I think he’s a terrific guy. I enjoyed my time with him very much. I’m proud to call him a friend.”