NYG: Grading the G-Men's Head Coaches over the Last 30 Years
When you look back at the Giants history, they've had a lot of good things happen to them.
For instance, they've won four Super Bowls in a span of 25 years (1986, 1990, 2007, 2011).
Two of them have come within the last four seasons, making the Giants one of the top teams in the NFL.
They've had a lot of talent come through their way during that time.
They've also had some pretty good coaching staffs as well. Over the last 30 years, they've only had five head coaches run the team.
How have those particular head coaches done in their tenure with the Giants?
Lets find out as we grade the Giants head coaches over the last 30 years and see how they did during their tenure.
New York Giants head coach: 1983-1990
Regular season record: 77-49-1
Playoff record: 8-3
Playoff appearances: 5
Super Bowls: 2
Bill Parcells set the foundation for the Giants when he took over the team in 1983.
His first season was not very good with a 3-12-1 record, but in the following year, the Giants went 9-7, made the playoffs and won a game under Parcells.
Under Parcells, they were able to bring in guys like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Mark Bavaro and Carl Banks, putting together a good group of talent that Parcells got the most out of.
In 1986, Parcells fourth season with the team, the Giants went 14-2 in the regular season, then rolled right through the NFC playoffs and knocked off the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXV to win the Giants' first-ever Super Bowl in team history.
Four years later, Parcells and the Giants were back at it again: went 13-3, beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship and knocked off the heavily-favored Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV to win the team's second Super Bowl, and the second under the head coach.
Parcells retired shortly after the game due to health reasons, but in his eight years as head coach, he made a name for himself as a premier head coach in the league and made the Giants a premier franchise in the 1980's.
To this day, there are many that still regard Parcells as the greatest coach in Giants history.
New York Giants head coach: 1991-1992
Regular season record: 14-18
Playoff record: 0-0
From the best coach in history to perhaps the worst in Ray Handley.
After Parcells stepped away from the Giants, there were three potential candidates for the job: Handley, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin.
Former Giants GM George Young decided to go with Handley, passing up on the other two assistants, and making the single-worst coaching decision ever.
Belichick left to take the Cleveland Browns head coaching job and Coughlin took the Boston College head coaching job.
Ultimately, Belichick should have gotten the Giants job, because Handley stunk.
He made Jeff Hostetler and Phil Simms compete for the starting quarterback job, when a lot of fans thought Simms shouldn't compete for the job when it was his all along.
In his first season, the Giants went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
In his next season, the Giants went 6-10 and again missed the playoffs. The fans were sick of Handley and Handley wasn't exactly in love with the media or fans in New York.
On December 30, 1992, Handley was fired as the Giants head coach and never worked in the NFL again.
Handley over Belichick? Just utter stupidity.
New York Giants head coach: 1993-1996
Regular season record: 31-33
Playoff record: 1-1
After Ray Handley was fired, the Giants brought in longtime Denver Broncos head coach Dan Reeves in to take over and restore order with the team.
Reeves was always known as a gentleman in the league with a touch of throwback, known for wearing a suit on the sideline like his mentor Tom Landry always did.
In his first season as the head coach, the Giants made it back to the playoffs with an 11-5 record, won a playoff game against the Vikings, but then were smoked by the San Francisco 49ers 44-3.
The following year, the Giants were in a transition year, as both Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor retired from the NFL and Dave Brown took over as the quarterback. He went 9-7 in his first season in 1994, but the team missed the playoffs.
Brown was terrible as the Giants quarterback and lead to the next two seasons being horrible under Reeves. The team went 5-11 in 1995 and 6-10 in 1996.
After the 1996 season, the Giants fired Reeves after four seasons.
New York Giants head coach: 1997-2003
Regular season record: 58-53-1
Playoff record: 2-3
Super Bowls: 0
When the Giants hired Jim Fassel to take over as the Giants head coach in 1997, he was basically an unknown assistant looking to make a name for himself.
In 1997, he replaced the disappointing Dave Brown with Danny Kanell, which worked out, and the Giants won the NFC East with a 10-5-1 record.
For the turnaround, Fassel was named the 1997 NFL Head Coach of the Year.
In 1998, the Giants ended the Broncos perfect season by defeating them on December 13 by a score of 20-16. The Giants finished 8-8, but missed the playoffs
Two years later, the Giants: had Kerry Collins at the helm, went 12-4, won the NFC East and had the number-one seed in the playoffs, destroyed the Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship Game, and were manhandled in Super Bowl XXXV by the Baltimore Ravens 34-7.
After a disappointing 2001, the Giants got back to the playoffs in 2002 by finishing 10-6 as a wild card, but lost 39-38 to the 49ers in one of the worst games in Giants' history.
The 2003 Giants went through a lot of injuries and many felt Fassel had no control over the team anymore and before the season was over, it was announced that Fassel would be fired after 2003.
Fassel got the Giants to the Super Bowl, but came up short in the biggest game of his career.
New York Giants head coach: 2004-present
Regular season record: 74-54
Playoff record: 8-3
Super Bowls: 2
The Giants wanted to bring in an established coach who could bring discipline back to the Giants, which lead to the team hiring Tom Coughlin on January 6, 2004.
Coughlin had been with the Jacksonville Jaguars and had made them a contender for several years in the AFC, but he was fired after the 2002 season and took a year off in 2003.
Since then, Coughlin has not had a losing season with the Giants.
They went 11-5 in 2005 and 8-8 in 2006 and made the playoffs, but were eliminated in the first round both times.
Coughlin was nearly fired after the 2006 season and had to tell John Mara why he should keep his job for 2007. Coughlin saved his job, and although they started out 0-2 in 2007, the Giants finished 10-6 and made the postseason.
The Giants went on their first magical run in the playoffs. They knocked off the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Packers in the NFC playoffs, and then shocked the world by beating the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII to win the Giants third Super Bowl.
Coughlin was off the hot seat and got an extension from the team as a reward. They went 12-4 in 2008, but were eliminated in the second round by the Eagles in the playoffs.
The Giants went 8-8 in 2009 and 10-6 in 2010 and failed to reach the playoffs again and some started questioning if Coughlin was the right guy for the job again.
In 2011, the Giants dropped to 6-6 and people were ready to fire Coughlin again, but the Giants finished 9-7, won the NFC East and ran through the Falcons, Packers and 49ers in the NFC playoffs. They upset the world again by beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the team's fourth Super Bowl.
In a span of four years, the Giants had won two Super Bowls under Coughlin, which has now lead to Coughlin having job security for the rest of his tenure as the coach.
He's survived the hot seat twice and responded with Super Bowls each time.
In the eight years with the Giants, Coughlin has done one of the best coaching jobs in team history, and he's not done yet.