They say it's better late than never and that's true for former head coach Tom Coughlin, who will be enshrined in the Pride of the Jaguars next year. Coughlin was the first coach in Jacksonville Jaguars history and the most successful one they've had.
Coughlin took the team to the playoffs and the AFC championship in just his second season at the helm. The Jags also made the postseason four straight times and reached another conference championship under his watch, so his induction in the Pride of the Jaguars is more than deserved.
Coughlin will be the seventh former member of the organization to join the Pride of the Jaguars. Hall-of-Fame left tackle Tony Boselli, quarterback Mark Brunell, running back Fred Taylor, wide receiver Jimmy Smith and former owners Wayne and Delores Weaver are the other inductees.
Previously the wide receivers coach for the New York Giants team that won Super Bowl 25, Coughlin posted a 128-68 record during his eight-year stint with the Jaguars. He was given the boot after the 2002 season. He then became the head coach of the Giants in 2004 and went on to win two Super Bowls in a 12-year span.
Tony Boselli gave his former head coach the news
Regarding his induction into the Pride of the Jaguars, Coughlin says, "'It means everything to him." The team posted a social media in which Tony Boselli pays a visit to his former head coach and gives him the news.
"You are the Jaguars as much as anyone who's up there," Boselli told Coughlin. "It's not just what you did for us as a head coach. "It's what you've done for this community. Making it home, Jay Fund. It's what your whole family, your kids. What it means to the organization, and I'm so happy you're up there."
"It means everything to me because you go through emotional stages through your life, and the one thing that I've always done, no matter where I've been, I always talk to you and the players about showing ownership to your team, for the right reasons. And to be part of something that was going to grow and develop, so it means a great deal to me," Coughlin said.
The Jay Fund, which Boselli brought up, is a non-profit organization Tom Coughlin and his family founded that provides financial, emotional, and practical support to children with leukemia and other forms of cancer. Here's a message the team shared on social media regarding Tom Coughlin's induction into the Pride of the Jaguars next year.
Tom Coughlin was the perfect coach for a then-new Jacksonville Jaguars franchise
The Jacksonville Jaguars found stability at head coach when they hired Doug Pederson last year. With Pederson at the helm, it looks like the Jags are to enjoy sustained success. But before him, Tom Coughlin was the most successful coach in team history.
You could make the case that Coughlin's not-so-great stint as the executive Vice President from 2017 to 2019 overshadows his tenure as a head coach but the truth is that he was pivotal to the team's success early on. Right off the bat, Coughlin turned Jacksonville into a prominent team, a hard feat to accomplish for expansion franchises. Based on everything Coughlin did as a coach, it's fair to say that his induction into the Pride of Jaguars was past due.
The bottom line is that the Jaguars were one of the hottest teams in the NFL in the late 1990s, so it's only fair that the man who was responsible for their success joins their Ring of Honor. Maybe the Hall of Fame should be next.