Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (2024)

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (1)
College Football
Men's Basketball
Women's Hoops
College Sports
Olympic Sports
U.S. Soccer
Outdoors | BASS
ProRodeo | WNFR
Action Sports
Other sports

Parcells took two teams to Super Bowls

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (2)
Parcells made struggling franchises into winners
By Mike Puma
Special to
Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (3)

"When we were playing real well as a team [Bill Parcells] was miserable because he needs friction. He lives on that friction. He needs adversity, and he's got to have a spat going with a player. If there's no adversity, he'll create it," says his former quarterback, Phil Simms, on ESPN SportsCentury's series.

Bill Parcells, who has two Super Bowls as coach of the New York Giants and has turned around three franchises, will be profiled on Monday, October 24 at 4 p.m. ET.

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (4)
Bill Parcells led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories.
Bill Parcells' legacy as a head coach was formed by his two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants. But he gained even further accolades after returning from his first "retirement." While other coaches have more victories and Super Bowl rings, Parcells stands out for his rebuilding of struggling franchises.

A master motivator, Parcells is one of only four coaches to have taken two different teams to the Super Bowl. After leaving the Giants, he reached his third NFL championship game, with the New England Patriots, before bringing the New York Jets within one victory of the Super Bowl two years later.

He retired -- for a second time -- following the 1999 season with a career record of 149-106-1, including an 11-6 postseason mark.

Parcells could be difficult, but those players who responded to his barbs earned his loyalty for a lifetime; numerous players followed him to different coaching stops.

In the mold of Vince Lombardi a generation before, Parcells motivated players by fear. "If you're sensitive, you will have a hard time with me," Parcells said. "The only players I hurt with my words are the ones who have an inflated opinion of their ability. I can't worry about that."

Ironically, Parcells was born in Englewood, N.J., where Lombardi's coaching career started (on the high school level). Parcells was given the name Duane at birth on Aug. 22, 1941.

His father, Charles, worked for the FBI until Duane was born and then took a job with U.S. Rubber. His mother, Ida, was a homemaker who raised him and his three younger brothers and sisters.

Early in his teenage years, after the family had moved to nearby Oradell, Duane Parcells had a lookalike at school named Bill. After a number of people mistook Parcells for the other boy, Parcells took Bill as a nickname, then as his first name.

When he entered River Dell High School in 1955, Parcells was one of the biggest kids in his class at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. He became a standout in football, basketball and baseball. The three sports were tied together for Parcells by one theme: his disdain for losing. His temper was sometimes a problem, but never his work ethic. He was the quintessential first player at practice, last one to leave.

Football became his best sport; he played quarterback, tight end and linebacker. Clemson and Auburn offered him a scholarship, but Parcells entered academics into the equation and chose Colgate, where he would play football and baseball. But after his freshman year he transferred to Wichita State.

Shortly after arriving there, Parcells met Judy Goss, a secretary in the school's sports information office. The two were married, and their first of three daughters, Suzy, was born before Bill graduated in 1964.

Parcells had a solid collegiate career, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference honors at linebacker as a senior and was good enough to become Detroit's seventh-round draft choice in 1964. But he wasn't good enough to make the team and two weeks into the exhibition season, the Lions cut him, ending his playing days.

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (5)
Parcells brought the Jets from a 1-15 team to the AFC Championship game in just two seasons.
His coaching career started within weeks, as an assistant at Hastings College in Nebraska. Parcells soon became hooked on his chosen profession and began an ascent that he hoped would lead him to the NFL. He returned to Wichita State as an assistant and then made coaching stops at Army, Florida State, Vanderbilt and Texas Tech.

In 1978, Parcells got his first shot as a head coach, with Air Force. But the Falcons struggled to a 3-8 record. Not content to continue as a college coach -- Parcells disliked recruiting -- he leaped at the opportunity to become the Giants' linebackers coach the following season.

However, Parcells' family was against the idea of moving again and so he resigned after the Giants' first mini-camp. Returning to Colorado without a coaching job, he sold real estate, but soon realized he belonged back on the sidelines. With his family's blessing, Parcells accepted an offer to become the Patriots' linebackers coach in 1980. At New England, he was given the nickname "Tuna," a reference to the cartoon figure who appeared in commercials named Charlie the Tuna.

The following season, he rejoined Ray Perkins' staff with the Giants, this time as defensive coordinator. When the team drafted Lawrence Taylor, Parcells changed the defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4 to take advantage of Taylor's pass rushing from outside linebacker. On the strength of Parcells' defensive unit, the Giants went 9-7 and reached the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.

When Perkins quit after the 1982 season to become head coach at his alma mater (Alabama), Parcells was named his replacement. After the Giants went 3-12-1 in his first season as an NFL head coach, he barely avoided the firing line. Returning in 1984, he installed Phil Simms as his starting quarterback -- and got the Giants back to the playoffs with a 9-7 season that ended with a 21-10 loss to San Francisco in the divisional playoffs.

The Giants went 10-6 the following year and earned their second straight wild-card berth. However, they against lost in the divisional playoffs, this time 21-0 to Chicago.

Then came one of the great seasons in Giants' history. Parcells changed little about the team from the previous year, relying on a fearsome defense and ball-control attack on offense. After losing the 1986 opener to Dallas, the Giants won 17-of-18 games, including Super Bowl XXI, in which they defeated Denver 39-20. Parcells was now at the top of the coaching profession.

Denied permission by the Giants and the NFL to speak with Atlanta about its head-coaching vacancy, Parcells returned to New York. The success was short-lived as the Giants missed the playoffs the next two seasons.

But they rebounded in 1989, going 12-4 to win their second NFC East title in four years. A 19-13 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional playoffs ended their season.

In 1990, the Giants went 13-3 to win another division title. This time, they finished their job, defeating Buffalo 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV.

Parcells announced his coaching retirement after the season; he later divulged he had health problems. While working as an NBC studio analyst in 1991, he underwent an angioplasty, his first of four corrective procedures on his heart. Parcells returned to NBC in 1992, working as a game analyst.

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (6)
The Patriots went from 2-14 in 1992 to a Super Bowl XXXI appearance in 1996 after four seasons under Parcells.
Convinced he was healthy enough to resume coaching, Parcells became head coach of the Patriots in 1993, signing a five-year, $5.5-million contract. A team that went 2-14 a season before his arrival showed immediate improvement by going 5-11. Then in 1994 it made the playoffs as a wild card at 10-6.

After slumping to 6-10, the Patriots bounced back to win the AFC East at 11-5 in 1996. They advanced to Super Bowl XXXI with playoff victories over Pittsburgh and Jacksonville before losing the Super Bowl to Green Bay, 35-21.

His relationship with Patriots owner Bob Kraft having soured, Parcells quit five days after the game. The Jets had a head-coaching vacancy and wanted Parcells, but Kraft, who still had him under contract, demanded compensation. Parcells became the Jets' head coach/general manager in 1997 after the team surrendered four draft choices.

Signing a six-year, $14.2-million contract, Parcells took over a 1-15 laughingstock and brought it to the brink of the playoffs with a 9-7 record in his first season. In 1998, the Jets won their first AFC East title in 29 years by finishing 12-4. They advanced to the AFC championship game, where they lost 23-10 to Denver.

After the Jets went 8-8 in 1999, Parcells stepped down as coach but stayed an additional season as GM before leaving the team. In January 2002, he turned down an $18-million, three-year contract to become Tampa Bay's coach and director of football operations. "I hope this convinces everybody that I'm not coming back," he said. "Because I'm not."

A year later, he was back. He stepped away from a comfortable gig as a television analyst to accept Dallas owner Jerry Jones' offer of $17.1 million for four seasons to resurrect the Cowboys as their coach.

And that's exactly what Parcells did. In 2003, he took a team that had been5-11 the previous three seasons to the postseason with a 10-6 record. Hebecame the first NFL coach to reach the playoffs with four differentfranchises as well as being the first to reach double-digits in victorieswith four teams.

However, 2004 was not so successful as the Cowboys fell to 6-10. "It's been a long year," Parcells said, "and I want to go home."

Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (7)

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories Advertisers
Parcells rebuilt struggling franchises (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated:

Views: 5926

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.