Tom Coughlin was one of those in attendance last night when Bill Parcells was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After Tuna’s speech, he spoke with Giants.com and broke down the words from the master motivator.
“Bill Parcells has always had a great ability to analyze a situation, address exactly what is called for and do it in such a way to make it understandable that everyone can appreciate what the message was,” Coughlin said. “I think what he did tonight was exactly the same way. I think he had humor, he called upon the many people he needed to thank in his life.”
Coughlin also spoke about what Parcells has meant to him.
“I’m so grateful to him for what he did for me and my family just by giving me a job,” said Coughlin, who was hired as the Giants’ wide receivers coach in 1988. “If I don’t have the opportunity to go to work for the Giants, I’m not standing here right now.
“I’m not much of a caller,” Coughlin added. “I don’t call people and they don’t call me. But once, twice, maybe three times a year if there was something that was important to me that I needed to at least let my own thoughts bounce off somebody I really trusted, he’s the guy that I called upon. To listen to him speak tonight, and the way that he did it, it was almost like he was saying to me, or somebody who worked for him, ‘Hey, let’s go for a walk and talk.’ You can’t help but be extremely proud and extremely happy for Bill. To see him rewarded in this way makes me very, very happy.”
Coughlin was not named in Parcells’ induction speech, but he was referred to when Parcells spoke about his former assistants who have gone on to become head coaches and win Super Bowls – Coughlin, Bill Belichick and Sean Payton, who were all in attendance – and said: “I take pride in their individual accomplishments and I’m looking for a couple more championships out of some of them, so let’s go.”
“He never acted like he was very proud of us, but he was,” Coughlin said. “Whenever you have someone you’ve learned from and they become a mentor for you, it means a great deal to be recognized by them. I’m sure he’s talked to Belichick. He’s talked to me and Sean. He’s embraced a lot of people along the way.”