The fans have spoken: Tom Coughlin is the best coach in team sports.
Decided by an online vote, the two-time Super Bowl champion head coach won the "Coach/Manager of Year Award" at the 2012 ESPYS on Wednesday night. Coughlin was not present at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, but plenty of his players were, including his Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
"I think coach Coughlin does a great job of getting us prepared each season," Eli Manning, who was nominated for Best Championship Performance, said before the show on ESPN. "And it's tough – you go through injuries, ups and downs, but he keeps us focused. He keeps our confidence up no matter what happens, and we have a great chemistry of guys. We come in, we work extremely hard, we get prepared, and they treat this game and their profession very seriously. And those are the guys you want to have as teammates because you know week in and week out they're going to be reliable and step up in game situations."
"I think we just had extreme focus," said wide receiver Victor Cruz, sitting next to Manning. "I think we understood what we had to do. We understood that once we made the playoffs, we didn't want to be just one and done. We wanted to continue our path and continue the great run we had towards the end of the regular season and continue it right into the postseason. I think that mindset helped us out a lot."
Coughlin won the award over fellow coaches John Calipari (Kentucky Basketball), Kim Mulkey (Baylor Women's Basketball), Patrick Murphy (Alabama Softball), Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat), and Darryl Sutter (L.A. Kings).
Defensive captain Justin Tuck was also in attendance and appeared onstage, promoting the live vote for Best Team, for which the Giants were one of the nominees.
Big Blue is no stranger to the show; the Super Bowl XLII champion won three ESPYs in 2008: Best Game (New York Giants over New England Patriots in Super Bowl); Best Play (New York Giants Eli Manning's pass to David Tyree at the Super Bowl); and Best Upset (New York Giants over New England Patriots at the Super Bowl).