American Football Wiki
Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin NY Giants.jpg
Then NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin during Super Bowl XLII in February 2008
Personal information
College Syracuse
Executive VP of Football Operations
Jersey #(s):
0 lb (0 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft / Round / Pick
Current team: Jacksonville Jaguars
As player:
As coach:
Teams coached
  • Syracuse University (1969)
    (graduate assistant)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (1970-73)
    (head coach)
  • Syracuse University (1976-1980)
    (quarterbacks coach)
    Syracuse University (1974-1975)
    (offensive coordinator)
  • Boston College (1981-1983)
    (quarterbacks coach)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (1984-1985)
    (wide receivers coach)
  • Green Bay Packers (1986-1987)
    (wide receivers coach)
  • New York Giants (1988-1990)
    (wide receivers coach)
  • Boston College (1991-1993)
    (head coach)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-2002)
    (head coach)
  • New York Giants (2003-2015)
    (head coach)
    Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-present)
    (Executive VP of Football Operations)
    Coaching Stats
    Record (W/L/T): 154-121-0 (Regular saason, 142-114-0)
    Career Stats
    Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
    Career highlights
    Awards and Honors
    Awards 3x Super Bowl champion

    Thomas Richard Coughlin (born August 31, 1946 in Waterloo, New York) is a pro football team executive and former head football coach who is presently the Executive Vice President of Football operations for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars for whom he served as head coach from the teams inception in 1995 until 2001, when he left to become the head coach for the NFL's New York Giants, a position which he served in for 12 seasons. During his tenure there, led the Giants twice to victory in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, both games against the New England Patriots. He was also the inaugural head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was head football coach at Boston College before moving to the pros. His son-in-law, Chris Snee, currently plays for him on the Giants.

    Coughlin has been a resident of Park Ridge, New Jersey.

    Early life

    Coughlin was born in Waterloo, NY in 1946, and played football and basketball in high school. He once played a high school basketball game against Jim Boeheim, who played for Lyons High School at the time. He idolized Ernie Davis and wished to play at Syracuse.[1]


    Tom Coughlin grew up with 2 siblings. His brother, Patrick Coughlin attended Georgetown in Washington. He is a professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. Tom and Patrick in addition are the uncles of Natalie Coughlin, the multi-award winning Olympic medalist.

    High school years

    Coughlin attended Waterloo High School in Waterloo, New York and was a good student and a letterman in football. While attending Waterloo, he gained the school's single season touchdown record-which still stands at 19. In Coughlin's senior year. he passed an entry test for seminary school to become a Catholic priest.

    Early career

    Coughlin attended Syracuse University where he played wingback, and was teammates with Larry Csonka and Floyd Little. In 1967, he set the school's single-season pass receiving record. His first head coaching job was at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1970–1973. After his success there, he returned to his alma mater where he was eventually promoted to offensive coordinator, a position he also held at Boston College where he coached Doug Flutie. He left the collegiate level to become a wide receivers coach in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, and later the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. While at New York he was an assistant to Bill Parcells, and helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV.

    Coaching career

    Boston College

    After the 1990 season, Coughlin returned to Boston College to take on his first job as a head coach. In three seasons at BC, he turned the program into a consistent winner. Coughlin's tenure was capped with a 41-39 victory over #1 ranked Notre Dame in 1993.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    Coughlin's success at Boston College led to his subsequent hiring as the first head coach of the NFL's expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. In eight seasons at Jacksonville, he helmed the most successful expansion team in league history. During Coughlin's tenure, the Jaguars went to the AFC Championship Game twice, the first time being only the second year of the team's existence, and for that season (1996), he was named NFL Coach of the Year by United Press International. Coughlin would again take the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game in 1999 after achieving a league-high 14-2 regular season record. However, in both appearances in the championship game, the Jaguars were defeated; in 1996 by the New England Patriots, and in 1999, by the Tennessee Titans.

    Coughlin's Jaguars won 49 regular season games in his first five years as head coach; a remarkable average for an expansion team of nearly ten wins per year. But the Jaguars's record for the next three years was only 19–29, and after a 6–10 finish in 2002, Coughlin was fired. He finished his eight-year career in Jacksonville with a 68–60 regular season record and a 4–4 playoff record.

    New York Giants

    After being out of football in 2003, Coughlin was named the 16th head coach of the New York Giants on January 6, 2004.

    Coughlin inherited a team that finished 4–12 in 2003, but led the Giants to a surprising 5–2 start in his first season as head coach. After back-to-back losses in which veteran quarterback Kurt Warner struggled left the Giants at 5–4, Coughlin made the decision to bench Warner and start New York's highly touted first round draft pick, rookie Eli Manning. Coughlin received criticism from some who felt the move amounted to a surrender of the 2004 season when the Giants were still in playoff contention. The Giants would go on to lose six of the seven games started by Manning, who struggled in his rookie season.

    Coughlin's early move to Manning, though, would pay dividends in 2005, as Manning and the Giants went 11–5 in Coughlin's second season and won the NFC East for the first time since 2000. It was also the Giants first postseason performance since making it as a Wild Card in 2002. However, a very poor performance by Manning, and a defense missing three starting linebackers, saw the Giants get shut out 23–0 at the hands of the Carolina Panthers at Giants Stadium. Following the game, Giant star running back Tiki Barber called out Coughlin and his offensive coordinator, partially because a Panthers player said that "We knew what they were going to do before they did it." The two resolved their differences however.

    Heading into the 2006 season, expectations for the Giants were high. In just over two years as the Giants head coach, Coughlin transformed the Giants from an underachieving, last place team into a possible Super Bowl contender. One of the most noticeable improvements under Coughlin was the elimination of star running back Tiki Barber's case of "fumbleitis." Barber, who retired at the end of the 2006–07 season, still credits Coach Coughlin with curing his propensity to fumble, after Coughlin recommended that Barber keep his elbow in and hold the ball higher. Barber fumbled 14 times between 2001 and 2003. During his time with Coughlin, he only fumbled four times. Barber also saw his production increase significantly, setting career highs in rushing and total yards each year under Coughlin.

    The Giants struggled early during the 2006 campaign, going 1–2 in their first three games. After a particularly bad loss to the Seattle Seahawks, star tight end Jeremy Shockey stated that the Giants had been "outplayed and outcoached." The Giants rebounded by winning their next five games to go 6–2. However, the Giants suffered a stunning second half collapse, losing 6 of their next 7 games to fall to 7–8 heading into the last game of the season. After a late November loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Coughlin and his coaching staff were once again criticized by a player, this time Tiki Barber. Things took another turn for the worse the next week when the Giants blew a 21-point fourth quarter lead and lost to the Tennessee Titans by a score of 24–21. After the game Coughlin had said to the media "I'm going to be sick about this one forever." Numerous injuries, excessive penalties, and a high number of turnovers—all three being problems that Coughlin promised to fix when hired as Giants head coach in 2004—had been most responsible for the downward spiral of the 2006 Giants, fueling speculation that Coughlin's job could be in jeopardy. Tiki Barber's announcement of his intentions to retire after the 2006–07 season also became a distraction to the team, as the media hounded Coughlin with questions about Barber's announcement, and whether differences between Coughlin and Barber led to this point. However, the Giants rebounded with a victory in the season's final game at the Washington Redskins, all but securing a playoff berth and perhaps saving Coughlin's job in the process. However, Coughlin and the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 23–20, in the first round of the playoffs. On January 10, 2007, it was announced that Coughlin would receive a one-year extension on his current contract and would remain as the Giants' head coach in 2007.

    In the 2007 season, the Giants again started poorly with an 0–2 record. However, the team rebounded and won 6 straight games. The team compiled a 7–1 road record for the season, and they made it to the playoffs for the third year in a row. Coughlin and the Giants had their first playoff win in seven years when his team defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 6, 2008. The Giants immediately followed up their win against Tampa Bay with a narrow defeat of the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Playoffs, winning 21–17, preventing Dallas from beating them for the third time in the season. The upset victory over the Cowboys was followed up by a 23–20 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game (Brett Favre's last game as a Packer). This victory set up Coughlin's first appearance in a Super Bowl as a head coach.

    Super Bowl XLII took place in Glendale, Arizona on February 3rd, 2008. The game pitted Coughlin's New York Giants (13–6) against the undefeated New England Patriots (18–0) coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots were favored by 12 points. The underdog Giants beat the Patriots 17–14 in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. Coughlin and the Giants are close to a contract extension. It has been reported by Yahoo Sports that he has signed a 4-year, $21 million extension. The contract will make him one of the NFL's highest-paid coaches. Prior to the start of Giants mini-camp in May 2008, Reece and the Giants were invited by President Bush to the White House to honor their victory in Super Bowl XLII.

    Coaching style

    Coughlin was mentored by Bill Parcells while Coughlin was wide receivers coach and Parcells was head coach for the New York Giants. Like his mentor, Coughlin is known as a stern disciplinarian and for his meticulous attention to detail, earning him the nickname "Colonel Coughlin".

    Coaching tree

    NFL head coaches under whom Coughlin has served:

    Assistant coaches under Coughlin who became NFL head coaches:

    Assistant coaches under Coughlin who became NCAA head coaches:


    External links