The New York Giants will move on from Tom Coughlin, as the long-time head coach announced on Monday that he is stepping down.
"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. "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."
Coughlin's family was reportedly out in full force to support him Sunday for his final game in New York. He is not retiring, however, as he'll remain "open" to coaching for another team, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
When asked in a press conference on Tuesday whether he was done coaching, Coughlin answered "not necessarily." He declined to elaborate. Team owner John Mara also said that asked Coughlin to stay on as an advisor in some capacity and Coughlin said that he'd mull it over.
Coughlin had been with the Giants for the last 12 seasons. He led them to six winning seasons, five playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles. But the Giants have failed to make the playoffs the past four seasons and this year's 6-10 record was apparently the last straw for team management. Perhaps the Giants' blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 sealed Coughlin's fate, though it's worth mentioning Odell Beckham Jr. missed that game due to a suspension and Eli Manning threw three picks.
On the Monday after the season finale, some players spoke out in favor of Coughlin, including quarterback Eli Manning, who has spent his entire career with the coach. Manning told reporters that Coughlin "definitely has not failed. I feel we as players failed him by not playing to the level we could."
Coughlin also seemed resigned to the fact that 2015 was his final season with the Giants:
In meeting today, Tom Coughlin told players, "If this is my last time as head coach, I wish you all the success in the world."— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) January 4, 2016
Coughlin's tenure in New York, and career overall, will always be remembered for his two Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots.
The first came in the 2007 when the Giants, following a 10-6 campaign, earned a trip to Arizona by reeling off three postseason victories on the road. There they met an 18-0 Patriots team led by Tom Brady, who had thrown a then-record 50 touchdown passes during the regular season.
NFL Coaching Carousel
The top candidates to fill vacancies
Adam Gase, Hue Jackson and Mike Shanahan are among the top candidates who could be hired as head coaches in 2016.
NFL Coaching Carousel
And yet, behind a devastating pass rush, Coughlin's crew was able to hold the explosive New England offense to 14 points. David Tyree's now-famous miracle catch set up a late game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress, giving the Giants a 17-14 win over a Patriots team that was favored by 12 points coming into Super Bowl XLII.
The Giants got off to a roaring 11-2 start the next year, but their progress was derailed after Burress shot himself in the leg and was forced to miss the rest of the season. The team was later upset by the Eagles in the playoffs, and didn't make it back until 2011 when they won the NFC East for the first and only time in Couglin's career.
Once again, after three playoff wins, the Giants and Patriots met up in the Super Bowl, this time in Indianapolis. Once again New York came out on top, 21-17, making Coughlin the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl in NFL history. That turned out to be Coughlin's final postseason game.
Coughlin, who previously worked at Syracuse and Boston College, got his first NFL head coaching job with the then-expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. He quickly built a drill sergeant reputation and led the Jaguars to four playoff victories. But three consecutive losing seasons led to his firing in 2002. He spent a year out of football after that and was hired by the Giants to replace the player-friendly Jim Fassel the following season.
Two years later the Giants were in the playoffs, but consecutive Wild Card round exits, and his notorious "Coughlin Time," put his job in jeopardy. In response, he decided to adjust his coaching temperament, and a year later the Giants were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.