When a coach is approaching 68-years-old and has won multiple championships during their tenure as a head coach, there are two things that will end up being discussed; retirement plans and the possibility of the Hall of Fame.
For New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who will turn 68 at the end of August and has two Super Bowl championships under his belt, he's not thinking about retirement anytime soon and has been downplaying it for years. Last summer, the retirement talk was brought up, but Coughlin shot it down, especially coming off a season where they finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs the year after the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. Now after a disappointing 7-9 season, the passion still burns for Coughlin and has the support of his family and wife to continue to do what he loves most.
"What else am I going to do?" Coughlin said Wednesday at the NFL Meetings. "I feel good. I feel healthy. [My wife] Judy is good towards it. My family is positive and supporting."
Since coming to the Giants in 2004, he's had winning seasons in every year except two; the first season in 2004 when they finished 6-10 and last year at 7-9. But every other year, the Giants have been .500 or better every single year and have been in playoff contention in each year he's been the head coach. For Coughlin's career, he owns a 158-130 record in the regular season and a 12-7 record in the playoffs; with the Giants, he's 90-70 and 8-3 in the postseason. But if it were up to Coughlin, he will look to improve those numbers for a few more years.
"I don't have a problem seeing that," Coughlin joked. "I'm only 35-years-old. I'd like to think, whatever that combination is, that the [recent] seasons are all good and, at some point in time, the choice becomes mine," Coughlin said. "Not somebody else's."
Whenever Coughlin does decide to retire and trade in the headset and whistle for the baby bottles and rocking chair and go from being called coach to grandpa, being inducted into the Hall of Fame is something that many people have talked about as being part of his future and on Thursday, Coughlin admitted that his resume certainly merits some consideration for an enshrinement into Canton, but he's not thinking that far ahead into his career and life.
"I think it merits consideration, yeah. But that's as far as I'm going. I don't think about it every day. I'd rather think of getting a group of players together and winning a game," he said. "You want to be the very, very best you can be. And if the highest point of recognition in our game is the Hall of Fame, then why not think about that? Do I think about it every day? No."
Considering Coughlin is one of 13 head coaches in history who have won multiple Super Bowls; his mentor Bill Parcells also won two and the guy Coughlin won both his Super Bowls against, Bill Belichick, has won three. Parcells was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer and Belichick will certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the future. Whenever Coughlin decides to ride off into the sunset, his name should be in the Hall just like Parcells and Belichick's because he has certainly earned it.
But he's not thinking about Canton right now; instead he's thinking about improving on 7-9 and trying to ultimately get the Giants into Glendale for that third Super Bowl.
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