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Is New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin a Hall of Famer?

February 7, 2012 | 10:00 am

Tom Coughlin

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the Hall of Fame credentials for New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin, who just won his second Super Bowl with the New York team. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Now is not the time and place to determine if Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach. He still is coaching and could add, or even subtract, from his legacy. What’s more, there is a five-year waiting period before a retired candidate can be considered. That period helps put accomplishments in perspective. 

You can make an interesting case for Coughlin. His career compares well to Marv Levy, who is enshrined in Canton, Ohio. But you can make a case against him, too. Just winning two Super Bowls alone hasn’t been enough to get a coach in the Hall of Fame. Tom Flores, George Seifert and Bill Parcells all have won two Super Bowls and are not Hall of Famers.

If Coughlin can win a third Lombardi, however, he will have a resume that may be impossible to ignore.

Nick Fierro, Allentown Morning Call

Tom Coughlin is not only a Hall of Fame coach now, but he was before winning his second Super Bowl. His body of work has just been too good to omit, starting with his days as a college coach at Boston College, where in three seasons he returned it to the Top 20 and knocked off a No. 1 (Notre Dame) along the way.

He then took expansion Jacksonville to the AFC Championship Game in its second season of existence and again three seasons later, when they went 14-2. With the Giants, he taught Tiki Barber how to stop fumbling and Eli Manning how not to panic, among other famous tweaks.

Hall of Fame? Definitely!

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel

Former Jacksonville Jaguars star Tony Boselli, the first draft choice Tom Coughlin ever made as an NFL coach, put it best in a Twitter dispatch after the Super Bowl.

“If [Bill] Belichick is a genius,” Boselli tweeted, “what does that make T.C.?”

It makes him a Hall of Famer, that’s what.

Coughlin has won as many Super Bowls as Bill Parcells and is only one behind the great Belichick, who he has now beaten in two Super Bowls and is universally considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.

And let’s not forget, Coughlin built the Jaguars from scratch and nurtured them into the most successful expansion franchise in NFL history. Twice, in the Jaguars’ first five years of existence, they were in the AFC Championship Game — one victory away from the Super Bowl.

Compare Coughlin’s tenure with the Jaguars and Belichick’s tenure in his first head coaching job (in Cleveland) and it’s not even close. Belichick was a total flop with the Browns; Coughlin gave Jaguars fans their greatest memories.


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Photo: Tom Coughlin. Credit: Tannen Maury / EPA