Hot Tuna: Ranking the Bill Parcells Coaching Tree
Bill Parcells is not only one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, he's also one of the most influential as well.
Parcells' track record speaks for itself: two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants, a Super Bowl appearance with the New England Patriots, and an AFC Championship Game berth with the New York Jets.
The Tuna was named AP Coach of the Year twice, and is the only coach in NFL history to lead four different teams to the playoffs.
His influence has also spread beyond the playing field and into the coaching ranks as well.
Seven former assistants are currently head coaches in college or the NFL, and five others previously served as head coaches at the NCAA or pro level.
It's quite an impressive coaching tree to say the least.
The following is a ranking of all the Tuna's assistants who have gone on to become head coaches in college or the pros.
12. Mike MacIntyre
MacIntyre served under Parcells as defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-06.
He was named the new head coach at San Jose State in December after the retirement of Dick Toomey.
With his hiring, MacIntyre became the 12th assistant from the Bill Parcells coaching tree to become a head coach.
11. Chris Palmer
Palmer served under Parcells in New England, first coaching the wide receivers and then quarterbacks.
He became the first head coach of the new Cleveland Browns in 1999, and struggled to get the franchise on the winning track. Palmer went 5-27 in two seasons before being fired.
Palmer went on to win a Super Bowl ring during the 2007 season as quarterbacks coach with the Giants.
He is currently the president and general manager of the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.
10. Ray Handley
Ray Handley was an assistant to Parcells during the glory days of the Giants in the 1980s.
As a matter of fact, Handley and Parcells were assistants at Army back in 1968.
After serving as running backs coach, and then offensive coordinator for seven years under Parcells, Handley was named head coach of the Giants in 1991.
Handley lasted only two seasons, compiling a 14-18 record.
9. Todd Haley
Haley worked with Parcells with the Jets and Cowboys before leaving to become offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.
After the Cardinals Super Bowl appearance in 2008, Haley left to become the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs finished 4-12 in his first season as coach.
In the offseason, Haley went back to his Parcells roots and hired Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator.
8. Romeo Crennel
The roots of the relationship between Romeo Crennel and Parcells go all the way back to 1975, when both were assistants at Texas Tech.
Crennel spent time with Parcells in New York and New England, serving as special teams and then defensive line coach.
After a stint as defensive coordinator for the Patriots, Crennel was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
He coached the Browns for four seasons (2005-08) and finished with a 24-40 record.
Crennel is now defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.
7. Al Groh
Groh came up through the college ranks with Parcells and eventually followed him into the NFL.
He was an assistant under Parcells with the Giants, Patriots, and Jets before becoming the head coach of the Jets in 2000.
Groh had a 9-7 record in his only season with New York, resigning the position to become head coach at his alma mater, Virginia.
It was his second stint as a head coach in college (Groh coached Wake Forest from 1981-86), and the Cavaliers flourished.
Groh led Virginia to a 59-53 record and five bowl berths in nine seasons before being fired last season.
He is currently the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.
6. Eric Mangini
Mangini got his start as a defensive assistant under Parcells with the New York Jets in 1999.
He eventually became defensive coordinator with New England in 2005 under Bill Belichick.
Mangini left the Patriots to become head coach of the New York Jets, where he compiled a 23-25 record in three seasons with one playoff berth.
After being fired in New York, Mangini became head coach of the Browns last season.
He finished his first season in Cleveland with a 5-11 mark and despite widespread rumors of being fired, new GM Mike Holmgren retained Mangini as head coach.
5. Charlie Weis
Weis served under the Tuna with the Giants, Patriots, and Jets.
He was the offensive coordinator in New York from 1997-99 before leaving to take the same position with New England from 2000-04.
After developing Tom Brady into a star, Weis left the Patriots to become head coach at Notre Dame.
The first two years of Weis' tenure with the Irish were golden. He put together a 19-6 mark with two Top 20 finishes.
After that, it was all downhill.
His next three years saw Notre Dame go 15-21, which eventually led to his dismissal.
He is currently the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.
4. Tony Sparano
When Parcells took over as the Dolphins boss, the first hire he made was Tony Sparano as his head coach.
Sparano served under Parcells in Dallas as his offensive line coach.
Critics thought the hiring of Sparano was a bad one with so many big name coaches available.
Once again, Parcells proved everyone wrong.
In his first season, Sparano led the Dolphins to an 11–5 record and the AFC East division title, securing the franchise's first playoff berth in eight seasons before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in a Wild Card game.
The 10-win turnaround tied an NFL record, and Sparano finished one vote behind Atlanta Falcons first-year head coach Mike Smith in balloting for the AP Coach of the Year award.
Injuries limited the Dolphins to a 7-9 mark last season, but with the growth of Chad Henne and the signing of Brandon Marshall, Sparano believes Miami will bounce back in 2010.
3. Sean Payton
The head coach of the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, Payton served as Parcells' quarterbacks coach in Dallas from 2003-05.
Payton became the Saints head coach in 2006, and has led the team to a 42-27 record during his tenure.
He was voted AP Coach of the Year in 2006 and is one of the brightest of the new breed in the NFL.
2. Tom Coughlin
Coughlin was wide receivers coach for Parcells with the New York Giants from 1988-90.
He left to become head coach at Boston College, where he was 21-13-1 in three seasons before leaving to become the first head coach of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars.
In Jacksonville, Coughlin took the fledgling franchise to the AFC Championship Game in only its second season of existence in 1996.
Coughlin spent eight season with the Jaguars, and left with a 72-64 record and four playoff appearances.
He was hired as head coach of the Giants in 2004, and quickly turned them into a winner.
In 2007, Coughlin led New York to an upset of the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Coughlin begins his seventh season in New York with a 59-44 mark. He owns a career record of 131-108 in the NFL.
1. Bill Belichick
The greatest coach in this decade, Belichick started his love/hate relationship with Parcells in 1983 with the Giants.
From 1985-90, Belichick was the defensive coordinator for New York during its two Super Bowl championships.
Belichick got his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns in 1991 and lasted through the 1995 season. During his tenure in Cleveland, he compiled a 36–44 record, leading the team to its most recent playoff game win in 1994.
He followed Parcells to New England and the Jets, before becoming head coach of the Patriots in 2000.
The rest as they say, is history.
Belichick went 5-11 in his first season with New England—his only losing season with the club.
Since then, he's gone an amazing 121-41 with three Super Bowl victories in four appearances. His teams have won seven AFC East titles in 10 years.
Belichick enters the 2010 campaign with a career coaching record of 163-97, and is a surefire lock to enter the Hall of Fame when he does call it a career.