(David Pokress/Sportsday Wire)
If Tom Coughlin doesn’t find another coaching gig, he may have found a new career as a motivational speaker.
The newly unemployed coach said his goodbyes at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center today when he gave a rousing goodbye in front of family, friends and his players.
“I’ve been the head coach at two Super Bowl conferences; I’ve been the head coach at two AFC Championship conferences with an expansion team. I’m more nervous at this press conference than anything I’ve ever done,” Coughlin began.
He thanked almost everyone whom he touched over the past 12 seasons and his words brought some in the audience to tears, especially quarterback Eli Manning.
“[His wife] , Judy is my quarterback at home, Eli is my quarterback here, period, 12 years. God bless him. Maybe 15, 16, ” Coughlin said :But we’re bound for life at the hip. Yeah, it takes some accomplishment to get it done, but it’s more about the sacrifice, day-in, day-out grind, knowing people, how consistent they perform, how tough are they, how tough are they. We’ve lost a little bit of that in our game.”
This is a different Tom Coughlin than we saw 12 years ago. The coach that was introduced was a drill sergeant, who was not going to take any nonsense. But now you saw a man who was looser, happier. In a word, beloved.
” I’ve changed and I’ve grown and I’ve developed and I’ve learned,” Coughlin said. “You better do that or you’re dead. So I’ve done that. I’m better for it. I’m better for the experiences that I’ve had. I’m better for the people that I’ve had a chance to coach and be with. I’m better for that. I’m better for the coaches that have been here, the great coaches. I didn’t mention Kevin Gilbride, Sr. I didn’t mention some of the guys, Perry Fewell, who just went down the road and won the division in Washington. I didn’t mention some of these guys. I can’t cover everybody. I hope I didn’t leave anybody out from this organization.”
He didn’t rule out coaching again. At 70, though, it’s going to have to be the right opportunity. Coughlin won’t want to rebuild an organization, but he still can take a talented under achieving group and make it a winner.
Those opportunities, though, don’t always come around.
But he will still be around the game. The Giants offered him a job in the organization and he will be working with his charity.
And of course there’s the lecture circuit.
He leaves though with not worrying about his players, especially Manning, whom he knows will excel under any coach.
“He can handle it all,” Coughlin said. “He’s done it before. He’ll handle it again. He’s extremely bright. He’s extremely competitive. He’s what you want a son to be made out of.
“He thinks he’s the reason. He’s not the reason. Eli, it’s not you, it’s not you. It’s us. We win, we lose together. When we lose, I lose. When we win, you guys win. That’s the way it is. That’s the game. I know what it is. I got the game. I got it.
“But what I would tell him, he’s going to be right in here in about two days starting to work on next year, just like he always does. That’s never going to change. God bless him for it.”