Following a solid collegiate athletic career at Wichita State and being drafted by the NFL, Parcells quickly focused his attention to coaching football. Beginning as the linebackers coach for Hastings, Parcells further honed his skills in a number of universities (’64-’78) before joining the pro ranks as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in ’79, where he would see his greatest success after being elevated to Head Coach in 1983. Following his two Super Bowl wins with the Giants, Parcells continued to build on his head coaching legacy joining the New England Patriots (’93-’96), the New York Jets (’97-’99), and the Dallas Cowboys (’03-’06) where he would eventually complete his coaching career.
In addition to his leadership impact on the field, Parcells built a well-deserved off the field reputation by developing his coaching assistants en route to becoming head coaches themselves. Producing a who’s who of top level college and professional head coaches, Parcells’ apprentices-turned-head coaches include: Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, Charlie Weis, and Romeo Crennel among numerous others. This only further solidified Parcells’ gift and reputation of building winners from the people who were privileged to work beside him.
As his legendary coaching career came to an end, Parcells maintained his deep relationship with the sport by accepting an executive position as the EVP of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins. The following year, the Dolphins finished the season as the AFC East Champions making them one of two teams in NFL history to accomplish a ten game turnaround from the previous season.
Another notable distinction of Parcells’ career is being credited as the first coach to be dunked with Gatorade at the end of a game and at the end of a Super Bowl, which led to the iconic tradition of the post Super Bowl Gatorade dunking of the winning coach by his team.
Parcells was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February 2013. The following year, he released his memoir, Parcells: A Football Life, a collection of behind the scenes anecdotes from his experience as one of the most influential and fascinating coaches in the NFL.
- An Afternoon/Evening with Bill Parcells