COMMENTARY | There may not be a more difficult job in all of sports than coaching or managing a professional team in New York City. The pressure of winning and the hot glare of the media spotlight are constant, and fans are never satisfied.
But New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has managed to survive and thrive in this unforgiving market. Nearly run out of town a few years ago, he is the longest tenured coach in the city, and he has a pair of championship rings to show for it. The only other coach in New York to win a championship since Coughlin was hired in 2004 is Joe Girardi, who led the New York Yankees to a World Series title in 2009.
Coughlin is at the top of his profession -- he has the third-most wins of active coaches in the National Football League -- and is a great example of how to succeed in New York. During his first couple of years on the sidelines, his demanding, unbending style rubbed some people the wrong way. But Coughlin adapted without compromising his core beliefs and since has earned the respect of his players, the media and fans. His coaching counterparts could learn a great deal from him.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who once threatened to take over the city that never sleeps, may want to adopt Coughlin's "talk is cheap" motto. It's a mantra that's practiced by the Giants, who go about the business of winning while the Jets keep making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Ryan isn't the only one who should be taking notes. New York Rangers bench boss John Tortorella should watch how Coughlin deals with the media. Big Blue's coach may be boring, but his honest approach beats Tortorella's snarky and confrontational style. Besides, Tortorella's act is getting old, as his Rangers are on the verge of being eliminated from the NHL playoffs for the third year in a row.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins may be the closest thing to Coughlin in terms of coaching style and personality. However, the fiery Collins recently called out Mets fans -- a huge no-no in New York -- and is on his way to a fourth straight losing season on the bench. In fact, the Mets' record is getting worse each year under Collins. The Giants haven't posted a losing season since 2004.
It's easy to take Coughlin's longevity and success for granted, until you think about the all coaches and managers who have come and gone during his tenure and those who failed before him. That's what makes him an example for his peers and a coach all of New York should be proud to call its own.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.
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- New York Giants
- Tom Coughlin
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