No one perfected the art of unretiring like NJ’s Bill Parcells
Probably the most revered head coach in New York Giants’ history, Bill Parcells, was born on August 22, 1941 in Englewood (his real name is Duane). He grew up in Hasbrouck Heights, moved to Oradell and graduated from River Dell Regional High School. After graduating college, he started his football coaching career. After multiple stops as a an assistant coach (and one year as a head coach at the Air Force Academy), he took the job as defensive coordinator for the Giants.
When head coach Ray Perkins resigned after the 1982 season, Parcells ascended to the head job. After a rough first season, Parcells led the Giants to the playoffs the next three years (they had not made back to back playoff appearances since the ’61-’63 seasons). In 1986, the Giants finished 14-2 and steamrolled through the post-season, beating San Francisco 49-3 and Washington 17-0 before crushing Denver in the Super Bowl, 39-20. Parcells took the Giants to the Super Bowl again at the end of the 1990 season where they defeated the Buffalo Bills 20-19 after Bills’ kicker Scott Norwood missed a last second field goal attempt (known as the “wide right” game).
Parcells retired after the season, but it only lasted two years. He came out of retirement to take over the New England Patriots and he took them to the Super Bowl in his third season, but they lost to the Packers 35-21. He left the Patriots reportedly because he wanted more control of personnel decisions, famously saying, “They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.” After a messy divorce from New England, he took the reins of New Jersey’s other NFL team, the Jets.
In his second year at the helm he took the moribund franchise (they were 1-15 the season before he came aboard) to a 12-4 record and an appearance in the AFC Championship game where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl winner, the Denver Broncos. He left the Jets to retire for a second time after the 1999 season.
Once again, he didn’t stay retired, joining the Dallas Cowboys as their head coach. In his four seasons there, he lead the Cowboys to the playoffs twice, losing in the Wild Card round both times. He then retired for a third time, and in 2007, for a third time, was lured out of retirement, this time to become the Executive VP of the Miami Dolphins. He stayed there for four seasons before retiring for good.
At last report, he was living in Florida and breeding horses.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.
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