Skip to main content

Is Tom Coughlin bound for Canton?

After 12 seasons and two Super Bowl titles, Tom Coughlin's time as head coach of the New York Giants has come to an end. Is Coughlin destined for Canton? The Around The NFL gang debates.

Two titles and two great runs is enough for Hall

Rings should matter more for coaches than players. Coughlin has two of them as a head coach, and has the bonus of getting one as an assistant with the Giants. More importantly, Coughlin had lasting success with two different franchises. Coughlin's run in Jacksonville was incredible and is the key to pushing him over the top as a Hall of Famer. He took an expansion team and made the conference title game in their second season. And then he went 36-12 in the following three years. The regular season dominance he lacked in New York was present in Jacksonville.

This is not to say Coughlin has a stronger case than some deserving overlooked coaches like Jimmy Johnson and Don Coryell. Coaches have been underserved in Canton while possession receivers get too much love. -- Gregg Rosenthal

One of best coaches ever? Not so fast

Tom Coughlin will always hold a special place in New York sports lore. Even if never won another game after 2007, he would always be warmly remembered for being the coach of the team that toppled the 18-0 Patriots. That's one of the most iconic wins in NFL history -- Joe Namath earned Hall of Fame induction primarily on the strength of one iconic win.

Coughlin added a second Super Bowl win over the Pats, of course, which makes this a fair debate. But am I ready to say Tom Coughlin is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history? Because that's what you're saying when you put a coach in Canton. I can't do that. It's been a great run, but Coughlin should have to settle for the Giants' Ring of Honor. -- Dan Hanzus

Have to look at more than just the Super Bowls

This one's complex. For his two Super Bowls, for taking an expansion team to the AFC title game in their second season, and for his unusual longevity at the top of a rugged profession, my answer would be "yes." It's not that easy, though. Tom Coughlin, like Bill Parcells, won two Lombardis, but his winning percentage of .531 reveals plenty of mediocre campaigns nestled in between the glory. That tilts me toward "no," but Marv Levy is in the Hall with far fewer wins and no Super Bowls. Still, Marty Schottenheimer won 31 more games in just one more season. He's not in the Hall and neither is Chuck Knox, so I would struggle to vote Coughlin in. That said, he doesn't need my vote: Unlike those others, he'll always have those Super Bowl rings. -- Marc Sessler

Could take some time to see a Coughlin bust

It's a tricky question. The Hall of Fame qualifications for legendary head coaches seem to be more stringent than the qualifications for great players. Jimmy Johnson, one of the best head coaches of the past half-century, is not in the Hall. Tony Dungy, who oversaw the most successful eras in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, is not in the Hall. Don Coryell, one of the most innovative offensive minds in history, is not in the Hall. Marty Schottenheimer, who won over 200 games and has a coaching tree with 14 descendants who went on to become NFL head coaches, is not in the Hall.

Coughlin gets credit for a pair of Super Bowl wins with the Giants and building the expansion Jaguars into an instant contender. Will the voters be more impressed with those feats than Johnson's and Dungy's? I suspect he will gain entrance to the Hall of Fame eventually, but might have to wait his turn behind a couple of the names mentioned above. -- Chris Wesseling

Hell of a coach deserving of Hall

Tom Coughlin has three fewer regular season wins than Bill Parcells and just as many Super Bowls. He has more postseason victories and a higher winning percentage in the postseason. Coughlin also has more regular season victories and Super Bowls than Bills legend and Hall of Famer Marv Levy, another coach that he admires greatly who came up during the same Wild West period of the NFL. Though he will not be credited with a new style of offense or ushering in a brand of toughness previously unknown in the NFL, Coughlin should go down in the Hall of Fame for being what he was: A hell of a football coach. Given that he started his NFL head coaching career with an expansion franchise, and given that he took the franchise to heights -- from his second season to his fifth, Coughlin won 45 games and made it to two conference title matches -- there should be no question about his eligibility. -- Conor Orr

Job with Jags key to Canton

My first thought is that I could care less about a man potentially putting on a gold jacket and giving a speech, but I'm contractually not allowed to care less. In that case, yes, I believe Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach. His 170-150 record might not be as sterling as some kept out of the Hall, but the totality of his accomplishments earns him a bust. His two Super Bowls as a head coach put him in great company -- his third as an assistant shouldn't be discounted either. What puts Coughlin over the top for me was the job he did with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. In just their second season of existence Coughlin had the Jags in the AFC Championship Game -- teams like the Lions and Browns haven't been there in decades of existence. -- Kevin Patra

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content