EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Tom Coughlin, who led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl victories, oversaw the development of Eli Manning into the best quarterback in team history and became one of the most influential figures in the 91-year history of the franchise, today announced he is stepping down as head coach.
>> READ STATEMENT FROM TOM COUGHLIN
In his 12-year tenure – the second-longest by a head coach in Giants history – Coughlin was 102-90 in the regular season and 8-3 in the postseason. His teams earned five playoff berths, won three NFC East titles and Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Coughlin was also an assistant coach on the Giants team that won Super Bowl XXV.
Coughlin’s final game was 35-30 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in MetLife Stadium.
The defeat concluded a 6-10 season that included eight losses by six or fewer points. It was the team’s third consecutive losing season.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants,” Coughlin said. “This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach, and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.
Mara, Tisch and general manager Jerry Reese all lauded Coughlin for his substantial and long-term contributions to the organization.
“It is difficult to come up with words adequate to describe the appreciation we have for everything Tom Coughlin has done for our franchise,” Mara said. “In addition to delivering two Super Bowl titles, Tom represented us with class and dignity, and restored the pride to our entire organization. He has all the qualities you could ever ask for in a head coach, and set very high standards for whoever will succeed him.”
“On behalf of my family, I want to thank Coach Coughlin for how he has represented our franchise for the past 12 years,” said Tisch. “He embodies the beliefs of this organization and everything the New York Giants stand for. I respect his decision, and while I appreciate Tom’s perspective and attitude, at the same time, I am a bit saddened today because we are losing a man who is just as good a person as he is a coach. He is a Hall of Famer in every regard.”
Reese became the general manager in 2007, following the retirement of Ernie Accorsi. In their first season together, Coughlin and Reese won the Super Bowl.
Coughlin is one of 13 coaches to win multiple Super Bowls, and one of 19 coaches with a perfect Super Bowl record. He is one of three coaches to lead the Giants to a Super Bowl, and joins Hall of Famer Bill Parcells as the only coaches to win it.
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“I think it has been evident these last 12 years here how much pride I take in representing this franchise,” Coughlin said. “I am gratified and proud that we were able to deliver two more Lombardi trophies to the display case in our lobby during that time. That is a tribute to our players and staff, and it was truly fulfilling to be the leader of those teams.
“I appreciate the support of John and his family and Steve and his family, and of Jerry Reese and his staff. I think our organization is a great representation of what I mean when I talk about ‘team.’
“Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife Judy and our four children and their spouses, and our 11 (soon to be 12) grandchildren. None of this would have been possible without their unconditional love and support.”
Coughlin was one of the most successful coaches in Giants history. He is just the second man in Giants history to coach the team for at least 12 seasons. Only Hall of Famer Steve Owen, who reigned for 24 seasons from 1930-53, led the team for a longer time period.
Coughlin’s 102 victories are second in franchise history to Owen’s 151. His eight postseason triumphs tie him with Parcells for the most ever by a Giants coach. Coughlin was the team’s wide receivers coach under Parcells from 1988-90.
Coughlin, 69, has been an NFL head coach for 20 seasons, including eight with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, who played their first game in 1995. He was 170-150 (.531) in the regular season and 12-7 (.632) in the postseason for an overall record of 182-157 (.537). The 170 regular-season victories tie him with Mike Shanahan, another two-time Super Bowl winner, for 11th on the NFL’s career list. Coughlin’s 182 total victories put him in 11th place on that list, just one triumph behind Parcells.
Coughlin led the Jaguars and the Giants to five division titles and nine playoff berths.
Throughout his career, Coughlin demonstrated his ability to squeeze the most out of his teams.
In 1993, the last of his three seasons as head coach at Boston College, the Eagles defeated top-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend, 41-39. That BC team finished 9-3, including a defeat of Virginia in the Carquest Bowl.
Three years later, the Jaguars, in just their second year of competition, advanced to the AFC Championship Game. Jacksonville won its first postseason game in franchise history in Buffalo. The following week, the Jaguars traveled to Denver, where they upset a top-seeded, Shanahan-coached Broncos team led by John Elway, 30-27.
The two signature victories of Coughlin’s legendary career were the two Super Bowls, when the Giants twice defeated favored New England. The Giants won Super Bowl XLII, 17-14, over a Patriots team that entered the game with an 18-0 record, which included a victory over the Giants in the regular-season finale. Four years later, they again topped New England, 21-17. In each of those games, the Giants scored the winning touchdown in the final minute.
Coughlin constantly and forcefully preached the importance of finishing strong, but this season the Giants lost six games in which they were leading or tied in the final two minutes.
Manning and Coughlin will forever be intertwined in Giants history. Beginning in 2004, Coughlin’s first season, Manning has started the last 183 regular-season games for the Giants, the longest streak in NFL history by a quarterback/coach combination. Manning was the MVP in each of the Giants’ Super Bowl victories. He holds all of the franchise’s meaningful career passing records and most of the single-season marks. This year, he set Giants records for attempts (618) and completions (387), and placed himself second in touchdown passes (35) and yards (4,436; he owns the record of 4,933).
“He’s been a great coach to play under,” Manning said. “We have a great relationship, great trust. I appreciate the way he works, I think he appreciates the way I handle my business and play quarterback, and prepare and get ready. We’ve had a good run, could’ve been better, obviously, but I appreciate everything he’s done for me.”
So do many other people.