Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Updated: January 25, 6:03 PM ET
Parcells won two Super Bowls with Giants
By Mike Puma
Special to ESPN.com
Jan. 25, 1987 - Bill Parcells took a gamble with his Giants leading the Denver Broncos 10-9 in the third quarter of Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena. With his team in punt formation at the Giants' 46-yard line, the New York coach had backup quarterback Jeff Rutledge move from a blocker's position to under center. Rutledge took the snap and plunged two yards for the first down.
The Giants scored a touchdown five plays later and dominated the second half in a 39-20 victory, the first of two Super Bowl triumphs for Parcells.
"[Rutledge] could take a delay or run," Parcells said. "He looked at me. I
nodded my head and he went for it. We went for it because we're trying to win
the game. This is for the world championship. I have a lot of confidence in
With the victory secure in the closing minutes, Parcells received a celebratory Gatorade dousing, continuing a tradition his players had started that season.
Odds 'n' Ends
Parcells' father, Charles, was a track and football standout at Georgetown.
Bill played semipro baseball while still in high school.
He played in the Blue-Gray game following his senior season at Wichita State.
His first assistant coaching job, at Hastings College, paid $1,750 per year.
At Army, Parcells befriended a young college basketball coach named Bob
Knight. Also on the football staff at West Point was Ray Handley, who later
succeeded Parcells as Giants head coach. Another West Point assistant,
Al Groh, succeeded Parcells as Jets head coach.
Parcells met Steve Sloan at Florida State in the early 1970s and later
followed Sloan to Vanderbilt and Texas Tech.
A career assistant, Parcells turned down the opportunity to become head
coach at Vanderbilt in 1975 because he didn't consider it the right fit.
Parcells made a name for himself as a defensive coordinator at Texas Tech.
In 1976, the Red Raiders finished No. 13 in both the AP and UPI polls.
In his first season out of football, 1979, Parcells bought Broncos
season tickets and sat behind an end zone at Mile High Stadium.
Parcells first NFL job was under head coach Ron Erhardt at New England in 1980. Erhardt later served as Parcells' offensive coordinator with the Giants and Jets.
Howard Schnellenberger was rumored in line to replace Parcells after the
1983 season, in which the Giants went 3-12-1.
Although they finished 10-6 in 1988, Parcells' Giants missed the playoffs.
Parcells' second Super Bowl victory came with backup quarterback Jeff
Hostetler playing in place of injured Phil Simms.
After leaving the Giants, Parcells admitted he was near physical collapse
when he coached in Super Bowl XXV. After learning he had heart problems,
Parcells quit smoking and lost weight.
In eight seasons with the Giants, Parcells produced an 85-52-1 record,
including an 8-3 postseason mark. Only Steve Owen, who won 153 games from
1931-53, has more victories as a Giants coach.
Parcells' broadcast partner at NBC in 1992 was Marv Albert.
Parcells' departure from the Patriots was in part because he wanted more
control over personnel decisions. "If they want you to cook the dinner, they
at least ought to let you buy the groceries," he said.
He had a 30-20 record with the Jets and left as the first winning coach in
the franchise's history.
Parcells was loyal to players who had gone to battle with him in the past.
Dave Meggett and William Roberts are two examples: both played for Parcells
with the Giants, Patriots and Jets.
Parcells had 11 former Giants on his Patriots teams and 11 former New England players with him on the Jets.
Parcells won at least 10 games in nine of his 19 seasons as an NFL head coach.
He had five losing seasons; two of them in strike years.
Parcells called 1999 his best coaching job as he led the Jets to an 8-8 record after losing quarterback Vinny Testaverde in Week 1 with a season-ending ruptured Achilles' tendon.
Don Shula, Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Mike Holmgren are the only other
coaches to have taken two different teams to the Super Bowl.
Parcells and his wife, Judy, divorced in January 2002 after being married 40 years.