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Is Tom Coughlin a Hall of Fame Coach?

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Is Tom Coughlin a Hall of Fame Coach?Is Tom Coughlin a Hall of Fame Coach?

Just a few years ago this question would be ridiculous. Actually just two months ago this question would have been absurd, but if the New York Giants win on Sunday, the idea of Tom Coughlin being a Hall of Fame coach may be legit.

For years there have been rumors that Coughlin has been on his way out. The players hate his old school ways. How many times have we heard about the five minute early to meetings rule? They have had unexplainable losing streaks nearly every year, but most years his teams end up in the playoffs. Even when he coached the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars he nearly took the team to the Super Bowl in just the second year of existence. In his seven seasons in Jacksonville he went to two AFC championship games.

With the Giants, Tom Coughlin pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history when the Giants defeated the undefeated New England Patriots in 2008. Now he has his team back in the Super Bowl against the mighty Patriots for a rematch. If he wins he will have defeated Bill Belichick twice on the biggest stage, the only coach to beat the mighty Belichick even once in the Super Bowl.

The much criticized Coughlin has put together a 142-114 record in sixteen seasons. His teams have been to the playoffs nine of those years. With the expansion Jaguars he was able to turn an expansion team into a team with a winning record in just the second year. Those Jaguars were not a flash in the pan either. After struggling in year one, they made the playoffs four years in a row before starting to struggle in the 2000 season. Two of Coughlin’s worst years can almost be thrown out. His first year with the expansion Jaguars he was not going to win many games and his first year with the Giants he was starting a rookie quarterback – Eli Manning – for most of the season. No coach was going to find much success those two years. If you take out those two years he has had just three losing seasons.

Maybe the best argument for Coughlin in the Hall of Fame if he wins next week is this. If he wins he will join a list that includes Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Tom Flores, Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells, Jimmy Johnson, George Seifert, Mike Shanahan and Belichick as coaches who have multiple Super Bowl championships. Half of those guys – assuming Belichick gets in – already have the ugly yellow Hall of Fame jacket in their closet.

Personally if the Giants win I am not ready to put the red faced one in the Hall of Fame, but if Coughlin wins on Sunday and his teams continue to show well over the next few years, as crazy as it sounds – Tom Coughlin will be worthy of Hall of Fame talk.

 

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