Tom Coughlin Inducted Into Giants Ring Of Honor, Hasn’t Ruled Out Return To Coaching
Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor alongside former defensive end Justin Tuck and Ernie Accorsi, the general manager who hired Coughlin and drafted Tuck.
The 70-year old took his place among the Giants’ legends during halftime of the Giants’ 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Now a senior advisor to the NFL’s football operations department, Coughlin keeps an open mind on returning to coaching in the NFL.
“I mean, I say that I would be interested in listening, and then I say on the other hand, it better be a good opportunity,” Coughlin said. “But I don’t know that there are any good opportunities when the change is made.”
“So we’ll see. It’s the middle of the season. Certainly, my Doppler is back up, and I’m excited again, and I’m watching football and enjoying the games. There were some good games yesterday.”
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Coughlin began his NFL head coaching career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, the first head coach of the then-newly formed expansion team. The Jaguars made it to the playoffs in four of Coughlin’s eight seasons, including two appearances in the AFC Championship Game.
He was fired by Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver after finishing the 2002 season with a 6–10 record. Weaver said was one of his biggest regrets was firing Coughlin. Coughlin’s regular season record of 68-60 and 4-4 postseason record are the best in Jaguars franchise history.
In January 2004, after being out of football the previous year, Coughlin was hired by the Giants to replace Jim Fassel. He inherited a team that finished 4–12 in 2003. He placed his stamp on the team immediately.
Coughlin showed former running back Tiki Barber a different way of gripping the ball, which led to a significant difference in drops for Barber in 2005. Barber went from 19 fumbles in 2004 to one single fumble in 2005 and posted career high yards and carries under Coughlin.
Coughlin’s decision to start Eli Manning over Kurt Warner proved to be a wise one. The Giants went 11-5 with Manning at quarterback during their second season together. They would go on to win the NFC East title for the first time since 2000.
2007 was Coughlin’s greatest achievement. He brought the Giants back to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers on the road in the postseason. This set up a meeting with the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 and Coughlin, who was in the hot seat throughout the year, would prove the world wrong as he did the seemingly impossible. The Giants would be back in the big game a few years later, earning a berth in Super Bowl XLVI after beating the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs.
They were once again heavy underdogs against the New England Patriots. The Giants stunned the Patriots 21-17, winning the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four years.
The Giants have not made the playoffs since their victory in Super Bowl XLVI. Coughlin resigned from his position as head coach for the Giants after consecutive 6-10 seasons in 2014 and 2015.
Coughlin went 102-90 in the regular season and 8-3 in the postseason. His .538 regular season winning percentage ranks fifth in franchise history. He is tied with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells for the best postseason record in franchise history.
Coughlin was the last of the three Ring of Honor inductees to be introduced. Even as the players returned to the field after halftime, he would not be denied.
“I know the players are back on the field, but I’m not gonna get cheated,” Coughlin said. He then read his speech in its entirety. The halftime clock struck zero while he was reading.
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