NY Giants Coach Tom Coughlin Steps Down

Tom Coughlin left the field after Sunday's loss to the Eagles. He went to the playoffs five times and won two Super Bowls with the Giants. (PHOTO CREDIT: Julio Cortez/Associated Press)
Tom Coughlin left the field after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. He went to the playoffs five times and won two Super Bowls with the Giants. (PHOTO CREDIT: Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Tom Coughlin stepped down as Giants coach Monday afternoon, ending his 12-year run with the N.F.L. team, a tenure that included two Super Bowl victories and five playoff appearances.

The Giants issued a statement from Coughlin shortly after he met with the Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch for roughly an hour.

“I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach,” Coughlin, whose job was in jeopardy after three successive losing seasons, said in the statement.

“I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is not a sad occasion for me.”

Coughlin continued: “Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons.”

The team has begun a coaching search for Coughlin’s replacement. Though one of the Giants’ most successful coaches, especially in the modern era, Coughlin’s last four teams did not qualify for the playoffs. His last three seasons with the Giants each ended in losing records, including consecutive 6-10 records.

Coughlin’s career N.F.L. coaching record is 170-150 with a 12-7 record in playoff games. He was 102-90 with the Giants in the regular season and 8-3 as the Giants coach in the postseason.

Coughlin, 69, came to the Giants in 2004. He had spent eight seasons as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, an expansion N.F.L. team that Coughlin twice led to the A.F.C. championship game.

With the Giants, Coughlin had the Giants in the playoffs in his second and third seasons. But when the Giants lost in the first round both times, he was on the hot seat heading into his fourth season.

The Giants qualified for the postseason with a victory in their penultimate game of the 2007 regular season, then won three consecutive road playoff games to advance to Super Bowl XLII. Coughlin’s Giants upset the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, 17-14.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Bill Pennington