Bill Parcells has advanced to a pool of 10 former players or coaches who are eligible for introduction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Parcells is in his second year of eligibility. Parcells coached the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys during his 20-year career.
The coach was well established by the time he got to the Jets but he gave the franchise credibility and a foundation for success they never had before. He led the team to the 1998 AFC Championship Game where they fell to the Denver Broncos after completing a 12-4 regular season. This was the last season the Jets have hosted a playoff game.
The Jets were 1-15 in 1996 under Rich Kotite and were considered a laughingstock around the league. Parcells immediately turned the team around as they went 9-7 in 1997. The Jets actually had a chance to make the postseason that season but they lost their regular season finale to the Detroit Lions by a 13-10 score.
The team broke out in 1998 winning the AFC East. They started 2-3 but finished the season winning 10 of their last 11 games. Vinny Testaverde played 14 games that season throwing 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Jets had a 10-0 lead going into halftime of the AFC Championship but the Broncos scored 23 points in the second half to win the game and the eventual Super Bowl.
Parcells made his name as a Giant but the Jets have had their most success since Parcells took over and have continued long after his departure. It’s not a matter of if Parcells will get into the Hall but when. He coached the Jets three years and finished with a regular season mark of 29-19 which is the best winning percentage for any coach in the team’s history.