New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride announced his retirement on Thursday after nearly 40 years in coaching.
The 62-year-old Gilbride spent the past 10 years with the Giants on coach Tom Coughlin's staff and 39 years overall in the NFL with the Houston Oilers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers.
"It's hard to say, ‘It's time,'" Gilbride said. "To finally do it, it's a very unnatural feeling. I've been telling my wife (Debbie) for years I was going to do it. ... I knew this was it and I was going to do it. I finally pulled the trigger. But it's difficult""
Gilbride was the Giants' quarterback coach for three seasons and played a role in the development of Eli Manning.
"I have great respect for Kevin and Debbie and their family, so it's not an easy thing to part ways," Coughlin said. "Kevin is a professional. He's been an exceptional football coach for the New York Giants. He helped win two Super Bowl championships. Kevin was the play-caller in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. He has done a great service to the franchise."
Manning said, "I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Kevin. I'm really sad to see him retire. He has been with me from day one as my quarterbacks coach and then my coordinator. He really taught me everything I needed to learn to become an NFL quarterback. We've had so much success together, obviously winning our two Super Bowls."
With Gilbride's retirement, speculation will turn toward Mike Sullivan, who was offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a former Giants receivers and quarterbacks coach.
There had been wide speculation about Gilbride's job security. His offense sputtered to a 28th-place finish in 2013.
The Giants went 7-9 this season after starting 0-6.
"It is difficult to walk away after a season like that, no question," Gilbride said. "You made the adjustments and you continue to modify and adapt and do the things you had to do to give your guys a chance. But all of the success we've had offensively through the last five or six years, we just weren't able to get it done this year with all of the things that took place."
After the season, co-owner John Mara said changes would be coming after an "offensive failure."
"I think our offense is broken right now and we need to fix that, and we need to make some improvements on defense, too," Mara said Monday. "But, obviously, the offensive side of the ball, we've got to improve there and we can't go into next season with the same personnel."
Coughlin said he would like to continue to coach.
"I expressed to Tom this morning that we do want him back as our head coach," Mara said Monday.
Coughlin, 67, would be entering the final year of his contract in 2014.