Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/5/13
It was the middle of the spring just a few months after the 44th season of his coaching life and Tom Coughlin was spending yet another late night at the office watching film reading scouting reports and making plans for another season. It was dark outside and the building was mostly empty but Jerry Reese needed a few minutes of his time. But when Reese went down the hall to his 66-year-old coach’s corner office and knocked on the door nobody answered. Then someone told him “Are you looking for Tom? Look out on the field.” So he did and when the Giants general manager walked out the back door and onto the cluster of practice fields there was Coughlin one year past the traditional retirement age running sprints up and down the 100-yard field. In the dark. “I was looking at him like ‘There’s something wrong with this guy’” Reese says. “You asked me if he’s showing signs of slowing down? That’s not a sign of slowing down.” A few months later in the opening days of training camp one month shy of his 67th birthday Coughlin was out on the field again doing the thing that he loves most. He gave his wife Judy a kiss then smiled wide and spent a few precious moments with his grandkids. Then with practice over he went right back to work. At a time in life when most people would be spending all of their time with their spouse and their grandkids Coughlin is still hard at work in an overly demanding profession showing no outward signs that retirement is near. There has been plenty of league-wide speculation that Coughlin’s 18th season as an NFL head coach his 10th with the Giants could finally be his last. Those that believe that though haven’t seen Coughlin at work and they don’t understand his uncommon desire. He has overseen one of the most successful eras in franchise history. He has won two of the last six Super Bowls. “His legacy” as Giants co-owner John Mara says “is secure.” Just don’t try telling that to him. “Most guys who’ve won a couple of Super Bowls that’s a pretty good resume” Reese says. “But his thinking is ‘You know a lot of guys have won two Super Bowls. Let’s win three. Let’s win four.’ That’s literally how he thinks.” “He’d be the only coach in franchise history to win three Super Bowls” Mara says. “I’m sure that’s a point of motivation for him.” It’s not as if Coughlin needs any extra motivation in the twilight of his career. He says his motivation is simple: A love of the game and the competition. That’s what makes all the early mornings and late nights worth it he says even after four decades of the same routine.
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