The Coughlin Way

Tom Coughlin’s legacy is pretty secure.

Two Super Bowl Championships as a head coach, and one as an assistant.

His farewell presser yesterday did nothing but cement that legacy.

It should be required listening to anyone wanting to coach… or teach… or lead.

If you have not done so, I highly recommend taking 20 minutes to listen to the passionate, articulate discussion about what it meant for him to coach the New York Giants.

It is not the “grumpy old man” personae that we are so used to seeing from him in the post game sound/ video bites.

It is deep.

He thanks everyone… players, coaches, family, owners, and fans…. Then talks some philosophy.

Here is a link to the video.

Some quotes and phrases to sock away and ponder… or use… at a later time…

“In professional football, the goal is to win. We all know that. We understand that completely. But my contention is, when I first brought this up was with our ’07 team, my contention is there’s a higher ground. There’s a greater purpose. That purpose is team. It is the team concept.”

“Winning, losing, playing hard, playing well, doing it for each other, winning the right way, winning the right way is a very, very important thing to me and all of our coaches. That’s what motivates and inspires us.”

“Championships are won by teams who love one another, who love and respect one another, who play for and support one another.”

“While it is the job of the head coach to get the technical football right, …it is our duty to equip these men with the virtues that will last a lifetime, the values like honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, service and integrity, those are the things that we teach in addition to the football”

“John Wooden said, ‘Reputation is what people think of you, character is who you really are.’ Character. We try to develop the character of each man who walked through these doors. Character is what endures.”

“What has become extremely important to me as I’ve grown in this position is relationships. Relationships have become the primary objective in my career.”

“I can tell you right now it has become the source of drive for me, is that when our players… when they come back to me and they say, Coach, I love you. They follow that up by saying they’ve become better men, better husbands, better fathers, better friends because of their experience having been a New York Giant.”

“While the two Super Bowl trophies right out here are incredible accomplishments, and I’m very proud of them, don’t get me wrong, I believe it is the unbreakable bond between coach and player that defines me as a coach and any humble success we might have had here as New York Giant coaches”

OK, He did have one kind of curmudgeonry moment in the press conference… talking about toughness…

“But we’re [players and coaches] bound for life at the hip. Yeah, it takes some accomplishment to get it done, but it’s more about the sacrifice, day-in, day-out grind, knowing people, how consistent they perform, how tough are they, how tough are they. We’ve lost a little bit of that in our game.”

“I have a toothache, I’m out of the game. What? You got a what? A stiff neck? I got a stiff neck 24 hours a day every day of my life. What the hell does that have to do with playing?”

Here is Coughlin on Eli Manning… You can see Eli’s reaction at the end of this abbreviated clip.


“He can handle it all. He’s done it before. He’ll handle it again. He’s extremely bright. He’s extremely competitive. He’s what you want a son to be made out of.”

“He thinks he’s the reason. He’s not the reason. Eli, it’s not you, it’s not you.”

“It’s us. We win, we lose together.”

“When we lose, I lose. When we win, you guys win.”

“That’s the way it is. That’s the game. I know what it is. I got the game. I got it.”

I wrote about this leadership style in my post “Chain of Accountability, Chain of Praise”… which includes this chart


Excuse me while I go watch Coach Coughlin talk about his coaching philosophy one more time.

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Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd –

2 thoughts on “The Coughlin Way

  1. Pingback: Your “Magic Bullet” | You Can Do More!

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