Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin are three NFL head coaches whose careers are inextricably linked. All three coaches have huge links to the New York Giants and since the Giants just hired a new head coach in Ben McAdoo to replace Tom Coughlin it’s time to rank Belichick, Parcells and Coughlin as NFL head coaches.
When the New York Giants won the Super Bowl for the first time during the 1986 season, Bill Parcells was the head coach and Bill Belichick was the defensive coordinator. When the Giants won their second Super Bowl during the 1990 season, Parcells and Belichick were in the same positions and Tom Coughlin was the WR coach. Tom Coughlin was the head coach for the Giants when they won their third and fourth Super Bowls during the 2007 and 2011 seasons (he beat Belichick and the Patriots in both Super Bowls).
Here are the three NFL head coaches ranked against each other based solely upon the facts of what each has accomplished in the NFL. In one case you will see that one of these three head coaches owes a great deal of his success to one of the others.
1. Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick not only ranks clearly as the best NFL head coach among Parcells and Coughlin, Belichick is probably the greatest head coach in NFL history. But his head coaching career did not start off great as he went just 36-44 as head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-95. Belichick did get the Browns to the playoffs in 1994 and he won a playoff game that year which are modern miracles for the Cleveland Browns.
With the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has put together a resume that is unrivaled in NFL history. Belichick’s record as Patriots head coach is 187-69 in the regular season and he has gone 21-8 in the playoffs including winning four Super Bowls and appearing in six.
2. Tom Coughlin
Before anybody goes crazy with Tom Coughlin being ranked higher than Bill Parcells check out the commentary below for Bill Parcells and you will clearly see why Coughlin deserves to be ranked ahead of Parcells. The record Tom Coughlin accomplished in the NFL as a head coach was done without the greatest head coach in NFL history ever being on his staff at any point.
Tom Coughlin coached the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2002 and went 68-60. Coughlin then coached the New York Giants from 2004 to 2015 and went 102-90. His winning percentage with both teams is identical at .531. What makes Coughlin’s record stand out is that his teams went 12-7 (.632) in the playoffs and he won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.
3. Bill Parcells
Bill Parcells ranks below the other two head coaches because Parcells own record as a NFL head coach was obviously greatly influenced by Bill Belichick. Parcells coached in the NFL for 19 seasons and his overall record is 172-130-1. Parcells went 11-8 in the playoffs and he won two Super Bowls and he and made it to a third Super Bowl too.
That’s a great record but it deserves a huge asterisk. Bill Parcells record as a NFL head coach without Bill Belichick on his staff is just 55-57 and his record in the playoffs without Belichick on his staff is 0-3. So Bill Parcells was an under .500 NFL head coach and he never won a playoff game without Bill Belichick on his staff.
Bill Belichick was on Bill Parcells staff with the New York Giants from 1983 to 1990. He was with Parcells in New England in 1996 and with Parcells with the New Jets from 1997 to 1999. Parcells record over those years is 117-73-1 and he went 11-5 in the playoffs and made three Super Bowls and won two of them.
When you go over the records of these three NFL head coaches with strong ties to the New York Giants, it’s easy to see that Bill Belichick is clearly the best head coach of the three and arguably the best head coach in NFL history. Tom Coughlin ranks second because he won two Super Bowls on his own with the New York Giants. Bill Parcells clearly ranks 3rd among the three because he was an under .500 NFL head coach and he never won a playoff game without Bill Belichick on his staff.