Tom Coughlin is the oldest head coach in the NFL. Mathematically, anyway.
“I’m younger than most of the guys in this room,” he said, scanning the ballroom where the NFC coaches breakfast was held this morning. What he meant, of course, is that he’s in better shape than a lot of them. And at 66 – he’ll turn 67 in August right before the season starts – he is showing no signs of slowing down.
“I think and feel about the same way as I always have to be honest with you,” he said of his age which is, to use one of the vogue football terms, ascending. “I can tell you there are a few differences, but I don’t dwell on them. I still have that (weight lifting) routine at 5:20 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, although the cardiovascular part, the running part, thanks to my little shot on the sideline a year ago is still not as good as it probably should be. I do more elliptical now than running.”
Coughlin said, as he did at the Combine, that he hasn’t given thought to retirement.
“I’ve always thought it’s a one year at a time deal anyway so it’s nothing different for me than it was five years ago,” he said.
But what about five years from now? Can he still see himself coaching at age 72?
“What’s my health status? What’s my wife’s health status? Those are the kind of things. Thank God I’ve had good health and I am in pretty good physical shape. Those kinds of things are factors as well. And I think and believe that that part of the equation will be the same.”
Would a third Super Bowl title sway him to go out on top?
“Well,” he said, “let’s just get another one and then we’ll talk about the rest of that.”
So how does he manage to maintain his vigor while holding one of the most stressful jobs around?
“I’ve always contended that people look at the occupation that we’re in and think, Jeez, all those hours, all that stress,” he said. “But we’re surrounded by the best doctors in the world, we have a physical plant that is as good as any there is, we have a tremendous cardiovascular section of our physical improvement area, we have the machines and the free weights. I just say that it’s also a pretty darn health way to go if you watch what you eat and believe in exercise, which I do.”