Tom Coughlin has announced that he will step down as the New York Giants head coach following a 6-10 season. The move leaves the Giants with their first head coaching search in 12 seasons and has been confirmed by NFL.com and other sources.
Coughlin decided to make the move after finishing with back-to-back 6-10 seasons and with the team missing the playoffs for four consecutive years. This isn’t the first time during his Giants coaching career that Coughlin was on the hot seat though. In fact, his career in New York seemed to always be questioned at one point or another — sometimes fairly, sometimes not — but his players always seemed to rally around him during these tough times.
Eli Manning spoke with members of the media and was continually fighting back tears, according to reports, while saying that it was the players that failed Coughlin and cost him his job.
“He definitely has not failed these players,” Manning said of Coughlin. “We failed him.”
Coughlin walks away from his 12-year coaching tenure with the Giants having accomplished many things while posting a 102-90 record. And let us not forget what he did in his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-2002; leading the team to two AFC Championship games as the franchise’s first head coach.
He led the Giants to two Super Bowl wins against the New England Patriots during the 2007 and 2011 seasons, and his team also put an end to an undefeated season by the Patriots. His Giants career is likely to be remembered as a mixed bag of success and failure, but he didn’t just turn the team into winners, he also turned them into professionals.
The 69-year-old was often confused for being brash and stubborn throughout his time in New York, but the culture undoubtedly changed under his leadership, and the organization should be thankful for the leader that demanded respect to be earned not given.
If changing clocks at team facilities so that they are five minutes ahead is what it took, then those first years as the head man paid off with wins and leadership unlike many other men could have brought to the team.
The Giants will now look to a future without Coughlin while thanking him for the positive changes that were necessary in order to give the Giants two championships while he was in New York. And the organization hopes that the next coach can provide at least half of what Coughlin did, in leadership and championships.