EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tom Coughlin, who returned the Giants to NFL prominence by winning two Super Bowls, resigned Monday after missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
The Giants (6-10) announced the decision one day after the team capped its third straight losing season with a 35-30 defeat against Philadelphia, its third straight loss and sixth in seven games.
Coughlin said in a statement he stepped down “in the best interest of the organization.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants,” he said. “This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.
“Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons.”
Coughlin will address the media in person Tuesday morning along with Giants ownership and general manager Jerry Reese.
The league’s oldest active coach and third-longest tenured among the 32 who finished the season, Coughlin, 69, came into 2015 knowing he had to get the Giants back to the postseason to keep his job. It didn’t happen.
Sunday’s loss to the Eagles was a snapshot of another lost season for the Giants and the team’s inability to finish. The Giants lost six games this season in the final 75 seconds. Eight losses came by five or fewer points.
Coughlin’s career will always be best known for his two monumental Super Bowl victories over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Super Bowls XLII and Super Bowl XLVI will pave the way for Coughlin’s likely induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday.
In his 12 seasons at the helm in New York, he compiled a 102-90 record and was 8-3 in the postseason.
As CBS2’s Otis Livingston explained, Coughlin’s numbers may still grow. Coughlin will be open to listening to other coaching offers, ESPN reported. Players said he still has a passion for coaching.
“He still has the same command,” said veteran wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. “When he walks in the room, he’s still Coach Coughlin to me, man. He’s going to get on you when he needs to get on you. He’s going to let you know when you do things right as well. So like I said, it’s been a pleasure playing for him.”
Before the announcement, quarterback Eli Manning, who has played for Coughlin his entire 12-year career, got emotional when speaking about the probable end of an era, CBS2’s Otis Livingston reported.
“He’s been a great coach to play under,” Manning said. “We have a great relationship, great trust. And I appreciate the way he works. I think he appreciates the way I handle my business and play quarterback and prepare and get ready. We’ve had a good run.”
After news broke of Coughlin’s resignation, current and former Giants players quickly took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the coach.
Giants fans, meanwhile, said they realize it’s time for change but will miss their now-former coach.
“I think he was a great coach, and we got two Super Bowls, and you can’t complain like that,” one fan told CBS2. “He was a great coach.”
“People didn’t like him at first because they thought he was a drill sergeant,” Wayne, of Brooklyn, told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon. “I think the Giants needed that type of thing, he kind of embodies now what a New Yorker is. So I wish him luck and I hope whoever we get now will share some of those characteristics.”
“I love him … but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go,” said another fan.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)