Few coaches in the New York area have been as heavily criticized as Tom Coughlin has been in recent years. As recently as last year the New York Giants head coach was being plastered in some media outlets and by many fans as the Giants struggled to a 9-7 record. However, once the Giants made the playoffs, we all know what happened and a trip down the Canyon of Heroes was the result as well as a trip to the White House on June 8th.
Tom Coughlin received his well deserved contract extension through the 2014 season. In reality it is an entirely new deal and will pay Coughlin $20 million over the next 3 years. Coughlin, will be 66 years-old when the season starts and will be 68 when his current deal expires. However, Coughlin has not shown any signs of wanting to walk away from coaching. Few men who have walked the sidelines has embodied what it means to be a Giant more than Tom Coughlin. Since taking the reins of a struggling franchise from a departed Jim Fassel in 2004, Coughlin has led the Giants to a 74-54 record, 5 playoff appearances and 2 Super Bowl victories.
When talking about great New York Giants head coaches it stands to reason that Bill Parcells is often vaulted to the top of the list. Parcells coached the Giants for 8 seasons and helped turn the Giants into a powerhouse from a laughing stock. In those 8 years, Parcells went 77-49-1 with 5 playoff appearances and 2 Super Bowl victories. After his eighth season as head coach, Parcells retired from the game only to resurface in 1993 as head coach of the New England Patriots.
Now, when talking about the greatest head coach of the New York Giants in the Super Bowl era the conversation should start with Tom Coughlin. By the time this contract runs out Coughlin will most likely own every New York Giants head coaching record there is. He should surpass Parcells this season as the coach with the most wins in team history (77). He is one win shy of tying Parcells for most playoff wins by a head coach (8) as well as being only the second Giants head coach to win 2 Super Bowls.
Amazingly, Coughlin has never won a Coach of the Year Award, something even Jim Fassel did in 1997 and Dan Reeves did in 1993. However, something tells me Tom Coughlin could care less about personal awards. He has never cared about himself, only the team, something that seems to have caught on with some of his players.
Coughlin is the perfect man to lead the Giants in their defense of their Lombardi Trophy and the best man for the job to deliver a fifth Lombardi Trophy to the Meadowlands. Even when this contract expires I doubt Coughlin will want to walk away. He loves the game of football, has adapted to the way the game is currently played, has adapted himself to meet team needs, and will continue to do so. By the time Coughlin wants to walk away from the game there will probably be a third Super Bowl under his belt and the conversation won’t be surrounding whether or not he is the best coach in Giants history but whether or not he is one of the best football coaches in the history of the game.