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Sports

Tom Coughlin

by Frederick from Fredericksburg

Tom Coughlin (Foxsports.com (Jim Brown USA TODAY Sports))
Tom Coughlin (Foxsports.com (Jim Brown USA TODAY Sports))

A hero to me is a person who has three traits; Bravery, Selflessness, and Honesty. When a person is brave, the trait gives them the hope and determination to make decisions and act in certain ways that will influence himself and others around him. My person has to use this trait many times through the course of one day. A person who has the trait of selflessness is a person who thinks about others and their needs rather than themselves. My person has to be selfless all the time in accordance with all the people he has to think and worry about. With honesty, a hero can gain the trust of people they know and people they don't know, up to a point that people will trust and help the hero in any way. My person has been very honest with his team and has gained the trust from everyone he coaches and works for him. My person is not necessarily a hero to me, I just simply admire him and all that he has done throughout his career as a coach.

The person whom I admire the most is: Tom Coughlin, Head Coach of the New York Giants, in the National Football league. Tom Coughlin was born on August 31, 1946 in Waterloo, New York. He started his long football career as a halfback at Syracuse, where he set the school's single season record in receiving yards. After college he became the head coach of the Rochester Institute of Technology's football team from 1970-1973. Then he went back to Syracuse and became the quarterback's coach for a year and was then made the offensive coordinator for the team, he coached there from 1974-1980. He then moved on to become the quarterbacks coach at Boston College (1981-1983). After those years in college he would move up to the NFL and become the wide receivers coach of the Philadelphia Eagles (1984-1985), the Green Bay Packers (1986-1987), and the New York Giants, whom he won Super Bowl 25 with (1988-1990).

Tom Coughlin as the Jaguars Head Coach (The New York Times (Mark Duncan/Associated Press))
Tom Coughlin as the Jaguars Head Coach (The New York Times (Mark Duncan/Associated Press))

After those years in the NFL, Coughlin returned to college football to become the head coach of the Boston College Eagles (1991-1993). In those three years, Coughlin turned the team into a team that could win on a consistent basis; his most famous moment during that time was that his team beat the, at the time, #1 rated team in college football, Notre Dame, which was the first time they had ever done it. With all the success he gained in those three years, Tom would eventually be hired to become the first head coach of the new expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-2002). In the eight years he was in Jacksonville, his team became the most successful expansion team in the history of the NFL. In Coughlin's second season there his team made it all the way to the AFC championship game, however, they lost to the New England Patriots 20-6. The next two years Coughlin and the Jaguars finished 11-5 making the playoffs in both years, they lost in the Wild-Card round in 1997 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos; the following year they beat the Patriots in the Wild-Card game 25-10, however they lost the divisional round game to the New York Jets 34-24. In 1999, Coughlin led the Jaguars to a league best 14-2 record and went back to the AFC championship game after beating the Miami Dolphins in the divisional round 62-7, this score was the second most in a playoff game in NFL history. They would lose to the Tennessee Titans 33-14 and finish the season 15-3. The next three years, Tom's team would not perform, they failed to make the playoffs three straight years in a row, and at the end of the 2002 season, after eight years Tom Coughlin was fired.

Tom Coughlin holding high the Lombardi trophy (Syracuse.com (AP))
Tom Coughlin holding high the Lombardi trophy (Syracuse.com (AP))

After spending the 2003 season out of football, Tom was hired as the new head coach of the New York Giants; he returns to the team he won a Super Bowl with in 1990. In Tom's first three years, (2004-2006), his team went 25-23, however, everything would change during the 2007 season when something spectacular would happen. During the 2007 season everyone wanted Tom Coughlin fired, but Tom responded with leading his team to a 10-6 record and made it to the playoffs. Their first game was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they won 24-14. Their next game was against the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys who were heavy favorites to win the game. The Giants narrowly won 21-17 after a last second interception in the end zone, and they moved on to the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers. The Giants would be heavy underdogs in this game, however, they would emerge from the game victorious in a 23-20 overtime win with a Lawrence Tynes 48-yard field goal to win the game, Tom Coughlin would now advance to his first Super Bowl to face the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl 42. In Glendale, Arizona the 10-6 New York Giants looked to defeat the 16-0 New England Patriots, after a hard fought game and an amazing catch by the Giants wide receiver David Tyree, Tom Coughlin and the Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14 in an unbelievable upset game. Tom Coughlin won his first Super Bowl as a head coach in the NFL while the Giants won their third ever Super Bowl. Four years would pass and after two seasons of making the playoffs (2008-2009) and two seasons not making the playoffs (2009-2010), Tom was back in the same position as four years ago. He responded again by his team finishing 9-7 and won the NFC East; they would face the Atlanta Falcons and win 24-2, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and win 37-20, and play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game. They would win 20-17 and move onto Super Bowl 46 against their old foes the New England Patriots. In Indianapolis, Indiana the 9-7 New York Giants took on their old foes, the 13-3 New England Patriots, after a back and forth game and another amazing catch made by a different receiver, Mario Manningham, Tom Coughlin and the Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17, the game ended on an incompletion in the end zone as time expired. This is Tom Coughlin's second Super Bowl victory and the Giant's fourth. After these events, the Giants have failed to make the playoffs four years in a row. Tom Coughlin is still the head coach of the Giants and his team is currently 5-7 tied for first in the NFC East, even though his contract is through the end of next season, how the Giants finish this year will depend on if he remains the head coach of the Giants or not. If he doesn't then he will most likely retire having had a very successful career as a coach at the collegiate level and in the NFL. Sadly at the end of this season Tom Coughlin and The New York Giants finished the season 6-10, third in the NFC East, and it was revealed that Tom Coughlin is stepping down as Head Coach of The New York Giants, he will most likely retire and maybe someday be admitted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo telling plays to Eli (nydailynews.com (CHRIS SZAGOLA CSM LANDOV))
Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo telling plays to Eli (nydailynews.com (CHRIS SZAGOLA CSM LANDOV))
Tom Coughlin often shows the trait known as bravery. Almost every Sunday he shows this trait if his team is losing in the game, he will use this trait to decide on plays to call that will help his team try and win the game. An example of this would be the first game of the 2015 season where Tom Coughlin's Giants were winning against the cowboys by three points. After three straight downs in the opponent's red zone, or end zone, instead of letting his team try again to score a touchdown, he used his bravery to decide to kick a field goal and trust his defense to win the game. However, his trust was misplaced and the Giants would lose the game 27-26. Even though they lost the game, he used his bravery to make the decision that he thought would win the game for his team.

The next trait is selflessness; this trait focuses more on other people than it does the hero. Tom Coughlin shows this trait all the time with his players, his coaching staff, and even the referees in the games. An example would be with any of his players if they get hurt. A prime example would last year when Victor Cruz tore his patella tendon. When Victor tore his patella, Tom was there on the field with him for the entire time until he was carted off the field. When someone on his team gets hurt he does whatever he can to make sure that his player is ok and tries to help him in any way. This shows the amount of selflessness that Tom Coughlin has as a head coach.

The last trait is honesty and with honesty you can gain the trust of anyone. Tom Coughlin has been plenty honest with his team and as a result he has gained the full trust of the team he coaches. The example of this trait would be the shift in his coaching style the year the Giants won Super Bowl 42. The first three years Coughlin was in New York, he wasn't exactly the nicest and lenient coach in the NFL, most the time he was just mean and angry because they would do so many little bad things. But in 2007, he changed his ways and became a nicer coach and better person to his team, and because of this his players started to trust him more as their head coach.

I admire Tom Coughlin for everything that he has done throughout his career as a coach in the NFL, some of the reasons why I admire him have to do with certain traits that he has as a coach. He has three traits that matchup with traits that a hero has, they are bravery, which he shows every Sunday in his play calling decisions, selflessness, which he shows to his players and his coaching staff, and honesty, which he has used to gain the trust of his players and everyone in his coaching staff. Even though these are traits of heroes, I don't consider Tom Coughlin my hero mainly because, I don't really have one, but I do admire him so much that he is worth writing this paper about.

Page created on 1/27/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/27/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Bibliography

Wikipedia. "Tom Coughlin." [Online] Available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Coughlin.

NFL. "Tom Coughlin." [Online] Available http://www.nfl.com/teams/coaches?coaType=head&team=NYG.

Getty, Getty. "My Brain".