The New York Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin today announced that Coughlin will step down as head coach of the franchise.
"I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach," Coughlin said in a statement issued by the team. "I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride."
Though it is reported as Coughlin stepping down, it sounds like the Giants wanted to make a change but that they are framing it in a more respectful manner for their long-time head coach. Coughlin has been an NFL head coach for 20 seasons (eight with the Jaguars and the last 12 with the Giants) and has compiled a 170-150 record (.531). He has led his teams to five division titles, nine playoff appearances, a 12-7 playoff record (.632), and two Super Bowl victories. According to multiple reports (including from ESPN's Adam Schefter), Coughlin still has interest in coaching for an NFL team next season if the situation is right. I'd be very surprised if he's not a coach somewhere next year.
The Giants join the 49ers, Browns, Eagles, Titans, and Dolphins as teams needing a head coach, and it's likely that the Giants' job jumps to number one on the list of most attractive openings for prospective head coaches. The Indianapolis Colts are expected to join the list by firing Chuck Pagano at some point, and because of Andrew Luck at quarterback they will also be at or near the top of the list for many would-be coaches.