Tom Coughlin

Cumulative stats (All positions)

Years Coached Wins / Losses / Ties Win % Playoff wins / Playoff losses Playoff win % Championship wins
28 226-203-1 52.56% 15-8 65.22% 3

Coaching Tree

Biography

Tom Coughlin, born and raised in Waterloo, New York, is a hard-nosed northeasterner that has experienced success at nearly every level of football. He has won two Super Bowl championships, both over the New England Patriots, guided the most successful expansion team in National Football League history and has a football stadium named after him.

He graduated from Syracuse University, about an hour from Waterloo, in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in education and received his master’s in the subject the subsequent year. He played fullback alongside legends Larry Csonka and Floyd Little.

Coughlin then hit the ground running in terms of the coaching world. After one year as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, he became the head coach of the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1970. He took over a team that had competed at the club level for two years but was promoted to varsity status. Coughlin was nearly starting the program from scratch.

In the first official three years in Rochester, he led the team to a 16-15-2 record. Former players have said that there isn’t much of a difference between the way Coughlin coaches now and the way he coached then. For his practices, he listed such details as ’9:00 am - Pick up a helmet.’ He is known as a coach that pays attention to even the smallest of details, but gets the most out of his players, then and now.

He left RIT after the 1973 season to take a job at Syracuse University as the Orangemen’s quarterbacks coach. He did that for two seasons before a promotion to the offensive coordinator position. He coached under head coach Frank Maloney and helped guide the team to its only bowl berth under Maloney in 1979. The Orange defeated McNeese State 31-7 in the Independence Bowl.

The team was 32-46 in the seven years Maloney was at the helm and was fired in 1980. Coughlin left Syracuse the same year. He wasn’t out of the game long, though, as he became the quarterbacks coach at Boston College. He coached under head coach Jack Bicknell and helped the team to two bowl berths in 1982 and 1983. Coughlin coached Doug Flutie, who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1984, the year after Coughlin left the team.

After his time with the Boston College Eagles, he showed he might have an affinity for the nickname as he became the wide receivers coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1984 and 1985. Those were two tumultuous years in Philadelphia, as former owner Leonard Tose was forced to sell the team to pay off gambling debts. Coughlin coached under head coach Marion Campbell, who was 17-29-1 in 47 games.

From there, Coughlin became the wide receivers coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1986. The Pack went 4-12 in 1986 and finished in fourth place in its division. Coughlin helped Green Bay finish 5-9-1 in the strike-shortened season of 1987.

After a few years worth forgetting in Wisconsin, Coughlin moved back to his home state of New York to help coach the Giants. Under legendary head coach Bill Parcells, the Giants won two Super Bowls: one in 1986 and another in 1990. Coughlin joined Parcells’ staff in 1988 when Ron Erhardt was the team’s offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick was the defensive coordinator. Romeo Crennel was also on staff as the special teams coach. Coughlin was the wide receivers coach and helped the team to a 10-6 finish. However, in 1988, the Giants missed the playoffs with a second-place finish in the NFC East.

1989 was much more kind to the Giants than the previous year. The squad finished with a 12-4 record and took first place in the NFC East division. However, the team was defeated by the 11-5 Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Rams were not expected to do well in the playoffs that year, but had won six of its last seven regular-season games entering the playoffs. The Rams would lose the conference championship to eventual Super Bowl champions San Francisco 49ers.

Coughlin and the Giants experienced its most success with the 1990 season. The team followed suit as it improved on its record from the year before as it finished 13-3 on the year. The Giants went on to beat the Chicago Bears, coached by Mike Ditka, and the 49ers, coached by George Seifert, to reach the Super Bowl where it would meet the Marv Levy-coached Buffalo Bills.

New York won its second championship when Buffalo kicker Scott Norwood’s last-second field goal attempt went wide right. It would start a string of four-consecutive Super Bowl losses for the Bills.

After Coughlin helped lead the Giants to a 20-19 championship win, he took off for Boston to coach the Eagles of Boston College. He took over the head coaching job in 1991 and didn’t start quite the way he, or anyone else affiliated with the program, wanted to start. In Coughlin’s first year at the helm of the Boston College team, the Eagles lost its first four games. The first win of the Coughlin era came against Louisville, a team that won just two games that season and was coached by Howard Schnellenberger.

The Eagles sat at 1-5 before rattling three straight wins against Army, coached by Bob Sutton, Pittsburgh, coached by Paul Hackett and Temple, coached by Jerry Berndt. The team finished 4-7 that year. The 1992 version of the Eagles finished with a record of 8-3-1 and ranked No. 21 in the final AP Poll. Boston College lost to Tennessee in the Hall of Fame Bowl 38-23. The Eagles started the season unranked, but three straight wins to start the year moved them into the top 25.

Coming off a tie with an unranked West Virginia, Boston College traveled to Happy Valley to play the ninth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. A 35-32 win kept the team undefeated and moved into the No. 11 spot in the nation. The Eagles climbed to as high as No. 9 before back-to-back losses to the Lou Holtz-coached Notre Dame and Syracuse, coached by Paul Pasqualoni, knocked them back down to earth.

1993 was Coughlin’s best year at Boston College as his team went 9-3, highlighted by a win over top-ranked Notre Dame 41-39. He led his team to a 31-13 win over Virginia in the Blockbuster Bowl. The Eagles finished the season ranked No. 13 in the nation.

The win garnered attention from the professional ranks and he was hired as the first coach in Jacksonville Jaguars history. The Carolina Panthers were the other expansion team that year, coached by Dom Capers, the former defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Jacksonville’s second year of existence, he led it to the AFC Championship game, where Jacksonville met the New England Patriots and lost 20-6. The Jaguars went 9-7 that year and barely made the playoffs.

But when the team did make the playoffs, it defeated the Bills, coached by Marv Levy, then the Mike Shanahan-coached Denver Broncos both by a score of 30-27. Coughlin led his team to the playoffs each of the next three seasons, including another trip to the AFC Championship game in 1999, where it met the Jeff Fisher-coached Tennessee Titans but lost its third game of the season. All three losses were to the Titans.

The next three seasons were forgetful as salary cap problems held the team back. Coughlin was fired from the team following the 2002 season. He took a year off from football in 2003, but returned a year later in 2004 with the New York Giants, his second stint with the team and first as its head coach.

Coughlin’s first year was not kind, as struggling and aging quarterback Kurt Warner was replaced midseason with rookie Eli Manning. He would go on to lose six straight games to start his professional career. The Giants beat the Cowboys in the final game of the 2004 season. The following year, New York turned things around and went 11-5 and won the NFC East for the first time since 2000. However, the team lost 23-0 to the Carolina Panthers in the first round.

Coughlin became the second coach in Giants’ history to lead his team to consecutive playoff berths in 2006. The other was Bill Parcells. A look at the numbers would say the Giants were not that good in 2006 as it finished the regular season 8-8 and took third in the NFC East division. New York was 6-2 to start the season. The team lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.

2007 was a completely different story as the team earned the nickname ‘Road Warriors.’ The Giants set an NFL record for most consecutive road wins in a season with 11, including three straight road wins in the playoffs to make the Super Bowl. In the playoffs, the team beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coached by Jon Gruden, Dallas Cowboys, coached by Wade Phillips and the Green Bay Packers, coached by Mike McCarthy.

The Giants faced one of the best teams in NFL history in the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. New England was a stunning 18-0 entering the game, but the Coughlin-led Giants won a championship 17-14 over the Patriots.

At one point in his tenure with the Giants, it was rumored that he was going to be fired, but playoff berths saved his job on more than a few occasions.

Coughlin would show he had the Patriots number, as he led the team to another Super Bowl win, 21-17, over New England in the 2011-12 season. Both times the Giants made the Super Bowl, they were not expected to be in the game as both seasons were up and down, but gained momentum at the right time.

History

Year Franchise Position Wins / Losses / Ties Playoff wins / Playoff losses Championship win
2017 Jacksonville Jaguars Executive Vice President 0-0-0 0-0
2015 New York Giants Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2014 New York Giants Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2013 New York Giants Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
2012 New York Giants Head Coach 9-7-0 0-0
2011 New York Giants Head Coach 9-7-0 4-0
2010 New York Giants Head Coach 10-6-0 0-0
2009 New York Giants Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2008 New York Giants Head Coach 12-4-0 0-1
2007 New York Giants Head Coach 10-6-0 4-0
2006 New York Giants Head Coach 8-8-0 0-1
2005 New York Giants Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
2004 New York Giants Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2002 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 5-11-0 0-0
2001 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2000 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
1999 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 14-2-0 1-1
1998 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 11-5-0 1-1
1997 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
1996 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 9-7-0 2-1
1995 Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach 4-12-0 0-0
1990 New York Giants Wide Receivers Coach 13-3-0 3-0
1989 New York Giants Wide Receivers Coach 12-4-0 0-1
1988 New York Giants Wide Receivers Coach 10-6-0 0-0
1987 Green Bay Packers Passing Game Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach 5-9-0 0-0
1986 Green Bay Packers Passing Game Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach 4-12-0 0-0
1985 Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers Coach 7-9-0 0-0
1984 Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers Coach 6-9-1 0-0

Fun Facts

  • Tom Coughlin is the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl (65).