The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (2024)

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (1)

The New York Giants were frequently one of the best organizations in the NFL from the franchise’s inception in 1925 through the 1963 season.

During that span, New York appeared in the NFL Championship game 15 times and won the contest four times.

After 1963, the Giants went through a rough patch and only made it to the postseason once in the next 20 years.

In 1984, the fortunes of the organization changed under the direction of head coach Bill Parcells.

“The Big Tuna” came to New York in 1981 as the team’s linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.

He became head coach in 1983 and transformed the Giants into one of the most feared teams in the league.

Some wise words from Bill Parcells on his 81st birthday. pic.twitter.com/90ybQ5oYyZ

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 23, 2022

Throughout his coaching tenure, Parcells looked and sounded like a stereotypical coach.

He was gruff, direct, didn’t much care for small talk, and was brutally honest.

However, his players became loyal to Parcells because he got immediate results wherever he went.

By the time he retired from coaching after the 2006 season, Parcells had won two Super Bowls with the Giants, lost one with New England, and in total, guided four NFL teams to the postseason.

This is the story of Bill Parcells.

Jersey Born

Duane Charles Parcells was born on August 22, 1941, in Englewood, New Jersey, and was the oldest of four siblings.

August 22, 1941 Bill Parcells, NFL coach (NY Giants, NY Jets, NE Patriots), born in Englewood, New Jersey #BillParcels #NYGiants #Birthday pic.twitter.com/2mghQVbV7z

— Celebrity Birthday (@celebritycheer2) August 22, 2020

Parcells received an early taste of what it takes to survive (at least in New Jersey) when he got into a fight as a five-year-old.

Parcells got the worst of it and went home to tell his father, Charles “Chubby” Parcells.

Instead of consoling him, the elder Parcells gave his son advice that stuck with him.

“You have to go back out there,” Mr. Parcells supposedly said. “You always have to go back out there.”

Not long after, Duane Parcells got involved in sports, befitting a person who would someday spend his life as a coach.

Chubby Parcells had been quite an athlete himself, even playing quarterback for Georgetown University, and his athletic genes had been passed down to his son.

Duane began playing Little League baseball in elementary school and fell in love with the sport.

Of course, when it wasn’t baseball season, Duane and his younger brothers played other sports, as long as they were outside.

Then, as Duane was about to enter middle school, the Parcells family moved down the road to Oradell, New Jersey.

It was during his time in Oradell that Duane was repeatedly mistaken for another kid named “Bill.”

After a while, Duane Parcells realized he liked being called “Bill” more than his birth name and didn’t bother correcting people who made the mistake.

From then on, he was known as Bill Parcells.

Parcells Becomes a Leader

As he progressed through middle school, Parcells added football and basketball to his sports repertoire.

He had become a huge fan of the New York Giants football team and even played sandlot ball with Vince Lombardi Jr. (whose dad was a Giants assistant at the time).

Despite his play on the hardwood and the gridiron, Parcells still loved baseball most and it was in that sport that he began to show his leadership skills.

During a Babe Ruth League match, Parcells was playing catcher in a tight game with his team protecting a slim lead.

The opposing team’s best hitter came to bat and Parcells didn’t want to take any chances.

“He called time out, took off his equipment, and then called the left fielder in and told him they were switching positions,” said former teammate Tom Godfrey. “Nobody said a word. It was just expected of him. Even then, he was taking charge.”

As fate would have it, the batter did hit the ball to left field and Parcells caught it to win the game.

“He was like a man at fourteen,” Godfrey said. “I was more like a timid little twelve-year-old. It was apparent even at that young age that he was really a leader. He wanted to control everything on the field.”

Playing for Coach Corcoran

Bill Parcells hadn’t yet entered River Dell Regional High School but his athletic reputation already preceded him.

Happy 78th Birthday to Bill Parcells. Before becoming a legendary two-time Super Bowl-winning coach and inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he attended River Dell HS (Class of ‘59) where he played football, basketball and baseball. pic.twitter.com/yuXaPRec4c

— NJSIAA (@NJSIAA) August 22, 2019

River Dell coach Mickey Corcoran held a basketball camp the summer before Parcells was a freshman.

Before the camp even started, Corcoran already knew which player to keep an eye on.

“I had already done my homework,” said Corcoran in 2013. “I’d asked around to find who were the best athletes in Oradell and River Edge and everyone I talked to said the same thing—the Parcells kid. So I’m watching him working out on the court, and I could tell immediately they were right. He was just physically better—he wasn’t that fast but he had great quickness, agility and instincts. He was just so much better than everyone else.”

Using the lesson his father taught him when he was five, Parcells never backed down from a challenge and continued to fight no matter the sport.

However, sometimes that fight needed to be reigned in, according to Corcoran.

“In a JV game his sophom*ore year, we’re up 17 points in the second half and he got a (technical),” recalled Corcoran. “I put him on the bench and now the lead goes from 17 to nine to six and down to none. I was not going to put him back in, though, and we wound up losing by one. If I’d have put him back we probably would’ve won the game but I would’ve lost Parcells.”

When he wasn’t playing hoops, Parcells played quarterback on the football team, even though he was built like a lineman at 6’2” and 180 pounds.

He also spent time as a tight end, a running back, and a linebacker on defense.

Each position Parcells played was purposeful. He wanted to be the one to control the outcome of a game.

However, it was Corcoran who taught Parcells that defense was essential to stay in games.

“It was always defense with Mickey,” Bill explained. “He said that by playing defense you wouldn’t win every game, but you would be in every game with a chance to win.”

Tough Love

Whether he realized it or not, Parcells was getting an education from Corcoran in how to lead and lead by example.

Always the competitor, Parcells loved to win and really hated to lose, frequently letting his emotions get the better of him.

“His dad was the best,” Corcoran said. “The first time he met me he said, `Coach, sometimes Duane needs a kick in the ass. When he gets out of line, just give him a good kick in the ass.’”

Corcoran heeded the elder Parcells’ advice and frequently disciplined Bill whenever he got out of line.

Mickey Corcoran, mentor to Bill Parcells, dies at 93 https://t.co/2sHkAr9X6r pic.twitter.com/0NKNnUARI7

— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) December 3, 2015

On a number of occasions, Corcoran would kick Parcells out of practice or off the team, only for Parcells to return the next day.

Through it all, the truculent youngster worked as if his life depended on it.

“[Bill] worked harder at practice than any other kid I had,” the veteran coach related. “He was always the first one there and the last to leave. Same with football and baseball. It was always one more jump shot, Coach; one more punt, Coach; just a few more swings, Coach; that type of thing. He was more competitive than anyone and worked very hard at acquiring skills.”

As Parcells was nearing graduation, Corcoran began noticing that his favorite player was asking questions that were unusual for a prep athlete.

“He would ask me all kinds of technical questions,” Corcoran said. “It was always `Why does [Coach] Johnny Bach do that?’ or `Why does [Coach] Lou Rossini do this? Why are they attacking a zone like that?’ He was very observant and inquisitive, a student of the game, even then. It was something not many high-school kids do and, although we never discussed it, I thought he might make a coach some day. It was, I thought, certainly an avenue he might travel later in his life.”

College Ball

Corcoran might have been Parcells’ mentor in sports, but Charles Parcells instilled academic discipline in his son.

Parcells’ father had graduated college and then obtained his law degree, later working for the FBI before moving to the corporate world.

So, when he wasn’t playing a sport, Parcells was immersed in books and was a good student.

Colgate University offered him a scholarship to play football and Parcells accepted.

During the summer, he played semi-pro baseball and was offered a pro contract by the Philadelphia Phillies after his freshman year.

Parcells shared the news with his father, but Chubby Parcells told his son that he needed to finish college first.

“Bill was crushed,” Corcoran said. “He really wanted to play pro baseball. I have no doubt if they’d had a baseball draft in 1958 when he was graduating from high school, he would not have ever been in pro football.”

Upset with his father’s demand, Parcells and a few friends went west to Municipal University of Wichita (which later became Wichita State University).

Bill Parcells played linebacker at Wichita State pic.twitter.com/YIBKsoS4r3

— Short Batman (@SeanEFootball) August 16, 2020

For the next three years, Parcells was a bulldozer at linebacker and took no prisoners.

He was a feared defender who helped the Shockers win their conference in 1961 and make it to the Sun Bowl (where the team lost to Villanova).

During a contest against the University of Tulsa, Parcells played like a rabid dog and collected 20 tackles and six sacks.

He was voted an All-Missouri Valley Conference player twice and was selected to appear in the Senior Bowl and Blue-Gray Game after his senior year.

Career Choice

Parcells was a standout athlete for the Shockers and the Detroit Lions took notice.

The franchise selected him with the 89th overall pick in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL Draft.

However, Parcells realized during training camp that he had no future as an NFL athlete.

“I realized I wasn’t good enough for the NFL,” said Parcells in 2013. “I was married and I needed to get a job. So I went right into coaching.”

Hastings College in Nebraska hired Parcells to be their linebackers coach in 1964.

The following year, Parcells returned to Wichita State and coached their linebackers for a season.

Then, in early 1966, Parcells contacted Corcoran to see if his former coach could get him a job as a coach at Army.

The Young Big Tuna…

Coach Bill Parcells during his time at Army, ca. 1968. pic.twitter.com/yxKEEv5sNb

— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) December 11, 2021

Corcoran came through and Parcells spent the next four years as Army’s linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.

“I just watched the way Bill interacted with those kids,” recalled Corcoran. “All the things I tried to instill in him—the discipline, the coach/player relationships, it was there. You either have it or you don’t. And he had it from the very beginning.”

When he wasn’t working with the defense on the gridiron, Parcells also assisted on the Cadets basketball teams for then-head coach Bob Knight.

Parcells Becomes a Head Coach

Parcells left Army after the 1969 season and spent the next eight years as a linebackers coach or a defensive coordinator at Florida State, Vanderbilt, and Texas Tech.

Bill Parcells, Florida State linebackers coach. pic.twitter.com/iWryQHZYxp

— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) February 11, 2022

Then, in early 1978, Parcells was hired as the new head football coach at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Before he arrived, Air Force had been guided by coach Ben Martin since 1958.

The season began well with the Falcons beating UTEP and Boston College.

The Big Tuna, Bill Parcells, got his first head coaching gig in 1978 at Air Force Academy. Seen here w Mach 1 the Falcon #GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/z7zANOPhhP

— Seb 🤿 (@CJ28MTL) October 28, 2017

Unfortunately, the team lost eight of their remaining nine games and Parcells looked elsewhere for a job.

“I had been an assistant coach at Army before taking the job at Air Force,” Parcells said. “I had an idea what I was getting into. But it was different from what I expected. I understood the mission of the academy, but I had difficulty understanding what they wanted from their athletic teams.”

He received an offer from New York Giants head coach Ray Perkins to head home and be his defensive coordinator.

Parcells was ready to take the job but ultimately decided against it and remained in Colorado with his family.

He took a job with a development company and watched Denver Broncos games as a fan.

However, Parcells realized that he missed the coaching life.

“The year away from football was a difficult part of my life,” Parcells explained.

Parcells Heads to the NFL

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (2)

The lure of coaching was too strong and Parcells became the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots in 1980.

While working with his position group, Parcells would sometimes joke with his players and say, “What do you think I am, Charlie the Tuna?”

Parcells said the line often enough that many of the Patriots players began calling him “Tuna” or “The Big Tuna.”

After a 10-6 record that year, Parcells was hired a second time by Perkins and this time the Big Tuna took the position with the Giants as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

https://twitter.com/randolu1/status/864155978278649856

In 1981, he worked closely with first-round pick Lawrence Taylor and veteran Harry Carson and whipped the defense to a third overall ranking in the NFL.

That was a huge improvement over the unit’s 1980 ranking of 27th overall.

As the defense was shutting down opponents, New York won nine games and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1963.

The team then won its first postseason game since 1958 when it beat Philadelphia in the Wild Card round before losing to San Francisco in the Divisional round.

One year later, the NFL players went on strike and the 1982 season was shortened to nine games.

The G-men went 4-5 and missed the postseason.

Perkins then left the Giants to become the new head coach at the University of Alabama.

Parcells Becomes the Giants Head Coach

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (3)

After Perkins stepped down, Giants general manager George Young hired Parcells to become the new head coach.

39 years ago today, the New York Giants promoted Bill Parcells to head coach. pic.twitter.com/qZgh0lmtBL

— Miles Commodore (@miles_commodore) December 15, 2021

For the second time in his coaching career, Parcells was a head coach, and unfortunately, it went about as well as the first time.

During the 1983 season, New York began the year 2-2 before falling flat and winning only one more contest for a 3-12-1 overall record.

For a brief period, Young considered firing Parcells and hiring University of Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Thankfully for Parcells and the Giants, Schnellenberger didn’t want the job that season.

“I remember George talking to him and then coming back to us,” John Mara said. “I can’t get him this year, but I can get him next year. So let’s give Parcells one more year,” Young told the ownership group. “Had Schnellenberger said yes, Parcells would’ve been fired at the end of the ’83 season, something I know Bill was bitter about for years to come,” Mara said.

New York Builds a Contender

Parcells was angry at almost getting the ax and set out to prove himself in 1984.

The year before, he had started quarterback Scott Bruner over veteran Phil Simms.

Bruner passed for nine touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

Learning from his mistake, Parcells started Simms in ‘84 and Simms responded with a career-best 4,044 yards.

"You can't have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic."
– Bill Parcells pic.twitter.com/YG7SbtT4Ad

— Coach AJ 🎯 Mental Fitness (@coachajkings) March 7, 2023

During the draft that year, the Giants selected quarterback Jeff Hostetler, guard William Roberts, linebackers Carl Banks and Gary Reasons, and receiver Lionel Manuel.

New York also added undrafted rookie receiver, Phil McConkey.

The team was beginning to take shape and the rookies were added to a roster that already had running back Joe Morris and defenders Jim Burt, Leonard Marshall, and George Martin.

After getting off to a 3-3 start, the Giants finished the season 9-7 and then beat the Rams in the Wild Card round before losing to the 49ers in the Divisional round.

In 1985, the Giants added receiver Stacy Robinson and tight end Mark Bavaro in the ‘85 NFL Draft and won 10 games.

New York then eliminated San Francisco in the Wild Card round before losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Chicago in the Divisional round.

1986

By 1986, New York’s ownership group was glad they stuck with Parcells.

He was cantankerous and frequently upset the players, but Parcells got results and was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year for the ‘86 season.

Parcells and linebackers coach Bill Belichick worked to mold Taylor into one of the best linebackers of all time and the defense as a whole (aided by newcomers Erik Howard and Pepper Johnson) was the second-best unit in the NFL.

Whenever the Giants needed a big play, Bill Parcells pointed at the quarterback and said "LT, he's got your co*ke." pic.twitter.com/GYGcp55RgO

— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) November 19, 2022

The Giants offense wasn’t too bad either and ended the season ranked eighth overall.

New York won a franchise-best 14 games and annihilated San Francisco and Washington in the playoffs by a combined score of 66-3.

Then, for the first time since 1963, the organization appeared in a championship game and faced off against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.

By halftime, Denver led 10-9, but the second half was a different story.

New York outscored Denver 30-10 and won easily with the final score of 39-20.

This Day In 1987: Harry Carson finishes out his season-long work, by dumping Gatorade on Bill Parcells after Giants beat Broncos in Super Bowl XXI. Gatorade signs Parcells to a 3-year, $120K deal. They pay Carson $20K to put his image on a poster. pic.twitter.com/KHUoxJ3wA5

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2019

Simms was the MVP after completing all but three of his passes for 268 yards and three scores.

Super Bowl XXV

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (4)

After missing the postseason in 1987 and 1988, the G-Men returned in 1989 and lost to the LA Rams in overtime of the Divisional round.

In 1990, New York won 13 games but lost Simms in a Week 15 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Bill Parcells, Lawrence Taylor y Bill Belichick con los Giants

Vaya imagen pic.twitter.com/kd9QG1afuC

— Somos Pats (@PatriotsMexico) October 9, 2019

He was replaced by Hostetler and the team beat Chicago before upsetting the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

Before meeting the Bills again, this time for Super Bowl XXV, the talk in the media was how the Bills’ K-Gun offense would do against the Giants top-ranked defense.

Most talking heads didn’t believe that the Giants had a chance and pointed to the team’s Week 15 loss at the hands of Buffalo.

However, while Parcells tweaked the offense, Belichick (who had become the defensive coordinator in 1985) put together a masterful strategy.

#Giants head coach Bill Parcells and defensive coordinator Bill Belichick on the sideline vs the Bills on Jan 27, 1991 in Super Bowl XXV. #NYG pic.twitter.com/vtBc57FmXg

— Retro Sports (@RetroSports411) December 4, 2017

Parcells had the Giants offense play ball control to bleed precious time off the clock and keep the Buffalo offense on the sidelines.

“We came out with three tight ends, fat slobs picking you up and moving you and letting you tackle O.J. [Anderson], if you could,” said Mark Bavaro.

Then, Belichick used multiple looks on defense and used an assortment of defensive backs to slow the K-Gun.

The result was one of the best Super Bowls in history when the Giants shocked the world and defeated the Bills, 20-19.

“We played the game we wanted to,” Parcells said.

Parcells was now 2-0 in Super Bowls as a head coach.

Parcells Leaves New York

Parcells grew up as a huge Giants fan and was fortunate enough to coach the organization to two championships.

However, shortly after Super Bowl XXV, he resigned from his position.

This Date In Transactions History: Bill Parcells Steps Down As Giants HC https://t.co/unpRdqU0Zf pic.twitter.com/3Z0LvTTrrg

— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 15, 2021

In a perfect world, Belichick would have taken over the team, but he was hired as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns before the 1991 season.

For the next two years, Parcells worked as an analyst for NBC and was offered the head coaching job with Tampa Bay and Green Bay, although he turned down both.

Then, in 1993, he agreed to become the new coach of the New England Patriots.

New England Reaches the Super Bowl

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (5)

In the three years before Parcells arrived, the Pats had fallen on hard times and had won nine total games.

His first squad in ‘93 went 5-11, but the organization had drafted Washington State quarterback Drew Bledsoe in the first round and receiver Troy Brown in the eighth round.

Those two athletes helped turn the Pats into a ten-win team in 1994 and helped Parcells become the NFL’s Coach of the Year for the second time.

After the season, Parcells lost to Belichick and Cleveland in the Wild Card round.

Bill Parcells of the @Patriots and Bill Belichick of the #Cleveland Browns (1995). Photographer | Rick Stewart. pic.twitter.com/IRj5dqBnmT

— John Skrtic (@SkrticX) November 13, 2021

Two years later, New England went 11-5 with a very talented roster that included Terry Glenn, Curtis Martin, Dave Meggett, Ben Coates, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, and rookie kicker Adam Vinatieri.

The Pats defeated the Steelers and Jaguars in the postseason before facing the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

Parcells’ third Super Bowl didn’t go as well and New England lost to Brett Favre and the Packers, 35-21.

Brett Favre on his way to attack Bill Parcells in Super Bowl XXXI (1997) pic.twitter.com/eqgyA2UJNM

— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) November 15, 2019

Even though the Pats had just played in the Super Bowl, Parcells and team owner Robert Kraft weren’t getting along.

Parcells was in control of the roster in addition to his coaching duties and Kraft, who bought the team in 1994, thought he should just stick with coaching.

That didn’t sit well with The Big Tuna.

“They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. Okay?” Parcells said in response to Kraft’s meddling in personnel.

Back to New York

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (6)

Parcells and Kraft realized they couldn’t co-exist and Parcells decided to leave the Pats.

Years later, he would come to regret the decision.

“I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently … ” Parcells said in 2013. “I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do. I was absolutely too headstrong. And [Patriots owner Robert Kraft] might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently.”

After leaving New England, there was no shortage of teams willing to fork over large sums of money to hire Parcells.

The New York Jets wanted him but Kraft and the Patriots still had control over their former coach’s whereabouts.

New York’s owner, Leon Hess, tried to maneuver around the Pats by hiring Belichick (who had returned to coach with Parcells in 1996) as the team’s head coach.

The Jets then hired Parcells as an “advisor.”

Kraft cried foul over the move and summoned NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

26 years ago today, The New York Jets introduced Bill Parcells as their new head coach. pic.twitter.com/w8RV8oRPts

— Miles Commodore (@miles_commodore) February 11, 2023

Eventually, both sides reached an agreement where Parcells would be the Jets’ coach and the Pats would receive a number of draft picks from New York as compensation.

Belichick then slid into the role of assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Parcells.

Turn Around Specialist

With the unpleasantries behind him, Parcells cemented his reputation as a turn-around specialist.

He led the Jets from one win the year before to nine victories in his first season.

Bill Parcells and Mike Pereira exchange pleasantries after a 1997 Jets game: pic.twitter.com/YGkicgZDa9

— SI Vault (@si_vault) December 8, 2015

In 1998, New York boasted a roster of Vinny Testaverde, Dave Meggett and Curtis Martin (who followed Parcells from New England), Wayne Chrebet, Keyshawn Johnson, Pepper Johnson, and Bryan Cox.

That roster led the Jets to a 12-4 record and a victory over Jacksonville in the Divisional round.

The following week, the Denver Broncos eliminated New York in the AFC Championship game.

In 1999, the team took a step back and finished 8-8 and Parcells stepped down as coach but remained as the team’s director of football operations.

As part of his departure, Parcells worked with new owner Woody Johnson to install Belichick as the Jets’ new head coach.

Belichick was in this role for all of one day before announcing during his introductory press conference that he was leaving New York to become the head coach of the Patriots.

20 years ago today, Bill Belichick announced his surprise resignation from the Jets.

Later that month, he was announced as the next coach of the Patriots. The rest is history 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/g4N5LjxLxc

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 4, 2020

Parcells and Belichick had always had a love/hate relationship, but this incident put the two at odds for several years.

They have since repaired their friendship.

Dallas Hires Parcells

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Parcells remained in New York as the de facto general manager in 2000 and drafted Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, Chad Pennington, Anthony Becht, and Laveraneus Coles.

The team went 9-7 and Parcells decided to leave the organization after the season.

“We are obviously disappointed that Bill Parcells has made his decision not to return to the New York Jets next season,” Woody Johnson said. “During his tenure with the Jets, he resurrected a franchise that had been struggling for a number of years.”

When asked if he wanted to coach again, Parcells was adamant that he didn’t.

“My intention is not to coach,” Parcells said. “If I wanted to coach, I would have come back and coached the Jets. My intention is moving on to another venue. I don’t know what. I’m not out looking. That’s the truth.”

Parcells was true to his word, at least for a few years.

In 2003, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones coaxed Parcells back to the sidelines.

Just as he had done for his previous teams, Parcells turned the Cowboys around quickly, leading them from five wins in 2002 to a 10-6 record in ‘03.

On this day in 2003, Bill Parcells was hired to become head coach of the Cowboys. One of his first mandates was to have the stars removed from the helmets of all incoming rookies until they had made the team, a tradition that stands today. pic.twitter.com/QzfIjoYJbe

— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 2, 2020

He challenged the team, including rookies Tony Romo and Jason Witten, to do their part by “earning the Star.”

All rookies and undrafted free agents were not allowed to have the Cowboys’ star placed on their helmets until (or if) they made the team.

This is still a Cowboys’ tradition.

“You knew real quick in my rookie year with Coach Parcells that nothing was going to be given to you, and you had to respect that tradition of what the Cowboys are all about,” said Witten years later. “I thought it (earning the star) was great because nothing is given to you, you have to earn it. That should be especially true for the Cowboys because it’s such a great franchise.”

Dallas lost in the Wild Card round in 2003 and then returned to the postseason in 2006 with a 9-7 record.

After Dallas lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round by one point, Parcells retired from coaching.

Miami Gives Parcells Control

The Life And Career Of Bill Parcells (Story) (8)

As much as he loved to coach, Parcells also enjoyed building a team.

In 2008, the Miami Dolphins hired him to be their Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

“Thirty-one other teams, I bet they don’t even know what the general manager looks like,” linebacker Channing Crowder said.

Although many of the Dolphins were in awe of their new front office leader, Parcells immediately began to clean house.

today is Bill Parcells’ birthday. here’s a photo to celebrate. #Dolphins #nicepants @EvCoRadio pic.twitter.com/eVTwcMJPUm

— Mike Goldstein (@Mike_Goldstein) August 22, 2014

He fired coach Cam Cameron (who had been on the job one year) and hired Tony Sparano to lead the club.

Parcells then released fan favorite Zach Thomas (on Valentine’s Day) and traded star defensive end Jason Taylor to Washington.

Then, during the 2008 NFL Draft, he selected offensive tackle Jake Long with their first-round pick and quarterback Chad Henne in the second round.

Parcells later wrote that he believed Long was a “safer” pick than Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan.

“The Dolphins’ coaches and front office reached the consensus that there was not much difference in NFL potential among Henne, (Joe) Flacco, and Ryan,” Parcells wrote in his book Parcells: A Football Life.

Parcells then signed former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington to compete with Henne.

A year after winning just one game, the ‘Fins won 11 games and lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round, the team’s first postseason appearance since 2001.

Then, in 2009 and 2010, Miami won only seven games both years and Parcells resigned following the 2010 season.

In Retirement

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Since retiring from the game as a coach and executive, Parcells has hung around to advise various teams on personnel decisions.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame where his former coach, Mickey Corcoran, was in attendance.

Happy Birthday to Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells! Hall of Fame Enshrinement Class of 2013. RT to wish the former @Giants, @Patriots, @nyjets and @dallascowboys coach a Happy Birthday! pic.twitter.com/IrmEc3DWAw

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 22, 2018

Parcells’ overall record as a head coach is 172-130-1.

He coached in three Super Bowls (winning two), was the NFL’s Coach of the Year twice, and was later added to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, the New York Giants Ring of Honor, and the Patriots’ All-1990s Team.

His coaching tree includes the likes of Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennell, Al Groh, Eric Mangini, Charlie Weis, Todd Haley, Sean Payton, Todd Bowles, Mike Zimmer, and Anthony Lynn.

References

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/bill-parcells-hated-to-leave-patriots-following-1996-season/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Parcells

www.denverpost.com

https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/madden-jersey-tuna-hof-coach-mickey-article-1.1416923

https://www.profootballhof.com/news/2013/09/news-college-days-bill-parcells/

https://goshockers.com/news/2015/6/23/ATH_0623154648.aspx

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/01/sports/football/01dolphins.html

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/sports/nfl/2014/10/24/in-new-book-bill-parcells/7404514007/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1997/02/01/parcells-resigns-from-patriots/48df3b26-51a2-4c45-8641-71d4c3ba0cd6/

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-01-29-sp-300-story.html

https://www.bigblueview.com/2020/11/2/21538017/new-york-giants-george-young-bill-parcells-super-bowl

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/g/gutman-parcells.html

http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/2001/0102/988347.html

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1723072-bill-parcells-remembering-the-career-of-legendary-nfl-coach-executive

https://www.profootballhof.com/players/bill-parcells/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bill-Parcells

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/ParcBi0.htm

NEXT:The Life And Career Of Carl Banks (Story)

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