NFL

Coughlin to coach Giants


Former Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin reached an agreement Tuesday to become the New York Giants' coach.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at 12:15 a.m.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Tom Coughlin didn't say no to the New York Giants this time around, signing to coach them on Tuesday.
The former Jacksonville Jaguars coach signed a four-year contract, vowing to bring back a brand of smashmouth, mistake-free football that led New York to two Super Bowls under his mentor, Bill Parcells.
"It is a tremendous challenge, and I am looking forward to working with these players and re-establishing the New York Giants' tradition of physically controlling the line of scrimmage," Coughlin said. "We want to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, eliminate the disease of turnovers and control field position on special teams."
Coughlin and the Giants finalized the about $12 million deal on Tuesday, a day after Coughlin held his second round of meetings with the team.
Coughlin, 57, succeeds Jim Fassel, who was fired following a 4-12 season in which the Giants lost their final eight games.
"Tom Coughlin is the man we wanted 11 years ago and he is the man we wanted now," general manager Ernie Accorsi said. "Aside from his family, Tom has one interest: winning."
John Mara, the Giants' executive vice president, called Coughlin "the right person for this job."
Coughlin was the only candidate granted a second interview for the opening created when Fassel was fired on Dec. 17.
n COWBOYS: Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is staying with Dallas, as are several other coaches and players who ended the season in limbo.
Coach Bill Parcells said Tuesday that Zimmer told Nebraska officials he was remaining in the pros rather than pursue the head coaching vacancy created when Frank Solich was fired after a 9-3 season. Zimmer was in Lincoln, Neb., on Monday for an interview.
In returning, Zimmer received a big raise from the $500,000 he was scheduled to make the next two seasons under a deal he signed last year. Parcells said Zimmer would not comment.
Zimmer has been with the Cowboys for nine seasons. He became defensive coordinator in 2000, and this season his unit gave up the fewest yards in the NFL.
  • STEELERS: Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis and wide receivers coach Ken Jackson were fired by Pittsburgh after a 6-10 season.
    The firings came only a week after coach Bill Cowher said he didn't plan any changes to his coaching staff. Cowher changed his mind after reviewing only his third losing season in 12 years as an NFL head coach.
    "My intent all along was to sit down, evaluate the entire season and not make any hasty decisions on any members of our coaching staff," Cowher said in a statement issued by the team. "After discussions with the coaches, it was apparent these changes were necessary in the best interest of the team."
  • MAXWELL AWARD: NFL co-MVP Peyton Manning won player of the year honors Tuesday from the Maxwell Football Club.
    Manning, who shared The Associated Press MVP honors with Tennessee's Steve McNair, received 293 first-place votes to win the Bert Bell trophy. The Indianapolis Colts' star quarterback, who won the Maxwell Award as college player of the year in 1997, also received 187 second-place votes and 89 third-place votes.
    Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis was second and Titans QB McNair was third.
    Manning joins other dual winners Barry Sanders, who won college award in 1988 and the pro award in 1991 and 1997; O.J. Simpson, college 1968 and pro 1973; and Roger Staubach, college 1963 and pro 1971.
    Coach of the Year honors went to Kansas City's Dick Vermeil, who received 192 of the 769 votes cast.
    Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon and Philadelphia coach Andy Reid were last year's winners.
    Voters for the pro awards are NFL owners, football personnel, head coaches, and offensive and defensive coordinators, as well as members of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Maxwell Football Club.
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