|Former Coach / Executive|
|Date of birth:August 22, 1941|
|Place of birth: Englewood, New Jersey|
|College: Wichita State|
|NFL Draft: 1964 / Round: 7 / Pick: 89|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|Made coaching debut in 1964 for the Hastings Broncos|
|Last coached in 2006 for the Dallas Cowboys|
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
|Coaching stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame|
Duane Charles "Bill" Parcells (born August 22, 1941) is a former American football head coach, most recently with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2006. He is known as "The Big Tuna", a nickname about the shape of his physique derived from a team joke during his tenure as linebackers coach of the New England Patriots.
Parcells won two Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants, defeating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI and the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. He led the New England Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI, but lost to the Green Bay Packers 35-21. He also led the New York Jets to the 1998 AFC Championship Game. He announced his third retirement from football on January 22, 2007 before returning to the sport later that year as the Vice President of Football Operations with the Miami Dolphins. He resigned from his role as the "football czar" with the Dolphins in September 2010, working as a "consultant" with the team until he took a leave of absence in October 2010, and left the team after the season. He is currently an NFL analyst for ESPN.
Early life 
Parcells was born in Englewood, New Jersey, on August 22, 1941. He grew up in the nearby town of Hasbrouck Heights, His mother, Ida Parcells (née Naclerio), was a housewife while his father, Charles Parcells, was a graduate of Georgetown Law School who had worked for the FBI before becoming a lawyer for Uniroyal Tires. Bill Parcells is of Irish and Italian descent.
Prior to his sophomore year in high school, the Parcells family moved a few miles north to the town of Oradell, where he attended River Dell Regional High School. While he was at River Dell, he was routinely mistaken for another boy named Bill. As he had always disliked his given name of Duane, he decided to adopt Bill as his nickname.
Parcells was a gifted athlete as a youth. He possessed good size (6'2" upon entering River Dell) and natural leadership skills, which enabled him to become a star quarterback, pitcher, and center on his high school's football, baseball, and basketball teams, respectively. His football coach at River Dell was Tom Cahill, who would later become the head coach at Army. His basketball coach at River Dell was Mickey Corcoran who Parcells considers to be "next to my father ... the most important influence in my life." Corcoran would serve Parcells as an advisor and confidant throughout his coaching career.
College years 
Upon graduating from high school, Parcells arrived at Colgate University. As a freshman, he was offered a contract by the Philadelphia Phillies. His father disapproved of a career in sports and wanted him to study law, so the younger Parcells declined the offer. He soon transferred to the University of Wichita (now known as Wichita State University), where he played linebacker and earned a physical education degree. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions, but was released by the team before playing a single NFL game.
Collegiate coaching career 
At the conclusion of his playing days, Parcells decided to pursue a career in coaching. He began as an assistant coach at Hastings (1964) before moving on to Wichita State (1965), Army (1966–69), Florida State (1970–72), Vanderbilt (1973–74), and Texas Tech (1975–77). In 1978, he became the head coach at the Air Force Academy for one season.
Professional coaching career 
New York Giants 
In 1979, Parcells accepted an offer to become the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants under head coach Ray Perkins but, before the season started, he resigned and took a job with a land development company in Colorado.
The following season, Parcells was approached once again by Perkins to join the Giants' staff as an assistant coach, and Parcells accepted the offer. As defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, he was allowed to change the team's 4–3 defense to a 3–4 system. When Perkins announced on December 15, 1982, that he was leaving the Giants at the end of the season to become head coach and athletic director at the University of Alabama, the Giants announced that Parcells would succeed him as head coach.
When Parcells took over in 1983, the New York Giants were a team that had posted just one winning season in the previous ten years. In his first year, he made a controversial decision to bench Phil Simms in favor of Scott Brunner. The result was a disastrous 3–12–1 season during which the Giants seriously considered bringing in University of Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger to replace Parcells.
After this dismal first season, Parcells made Simms the starter again. The team's record improved to 9–7 and 10–6 over the next two years, and earned them their first back-to-back playoff appearances since 1961–1963. In 1986, he led the Giants to the first of two Super Bowls. In the 1986 season, the Giants compiled a franchise best 14–2 record and the first of three division titles. Parcells, whose stifling 3–4 defense (known as the Big Blue Wrecking Crew) led by Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Harry Carson, and Leonard Marshall, and an offense under the direction of Phil Simms, knocked off the San Francisco 49ers 49–3, and the Washington Redskins 17–0, in the playoffs before routing the Denver Broncos, 39–20, in Super Bowl XXI. Parcells is 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 a Super Bowl Gatorade dunking tradition. While there are some claims that Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka had been dunked a year earlier, NFL Films president Steve Sabol has stated that he can find no evidence to support it in any footage he has reviewed and that he believes the tradition started with Parcells and Jim Burt.
Following the Super Bowl win, Parcells was courted by the Atlanta Falcons to become the Head Coach and General Manager of the franchise. However NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle would not allow Parcells to break his contract with the Giants and he stayed in New York.
Parcells led the Giants to a second Super Bowl in 1990. The Giants began the 1990 season 10–0, and finished 13–3, but lost Simms to injury late in the season. Playing with a back-up quarterback in Jeff Hostetler and a 33-year-old veteran running back in Ottis Anderson, the Giants convincingly defeated the Chicago Bears in the divisional playoff, 31–3, and won in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion over San Francisco, 15–13, in the NFC Championship on a last-second 42-yard field goal by Matt Bahr which was set up by a Roger Craig fumble caused by nose tackle Erik Howard. Super Bowl XXV proved equally exciting as the Giants used tough defense, and a ball-control and power-running Erhardt – Perkins style offense to stop the Buffalo Bills, 20–19, whose own last-second 47-yard field goal attempt by Scott Norwood missed wide right. Parcells retired from football after Super Bowl XXV due to health problems. During his tenure, the Giants had secured three division titles (1986, 1989, 1990), had only two losing seasons (the Giants went 6–9 during the strike year of 1987) and tallied an 8–3 playoff record.
First retirement 
Following retirement, Parcells spent time as a football analyst for NBC Sports from 1991–1992, working as a commentator. He also hosted a local sports show in New York with Mike Francesa entitled Around the NFL.
In 1992, Parcells made a handshake agreement to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the last minute, Parcells opted not to take the job. Parcells did not feel the situation was right for him at that time. Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse said, "I feel like I've been jilted at the altar."
New England Patriots 
After a two-year hiatus, Parcells returned to the NFL in 1993 as the head coach for the New England Patriots. Within two years, he coached the team to a 10–6 record and its first playoff game in eight years. In 1996, he guided the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI but lost to the Green Bay Packers, 35–21, in New Orleans.
Parcells left the Patriots after disagreements with owner Robert Kraft; Parcells felt he did not have enough input in player personnel decisions. Upon his departure, Parcells famously stated: "They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. Okay?" This was mainly in reference to an incident in the Patriots' war room during the 1996 Draft where Parcells, who wanted to draft a defensive player with their first-round choice, was vetoed by Kraft, and the Patriots selected Ohio State WR Terry Glenn.
New York Jets 
Although Parcells had decided to leave New England, his contract did not allow him to coach anywhere else. The New York Jets sought Parcells as head coach and general manager after a 4–28 record under Rich Kotite. To circumvent Parcells' contractual obligations, the Jets hired Bill Belichick (then the No. 1 assistant to Parcells) as the Jets coach, and then hired Parcells in an "advisory" role. New England threatened legal action against Parcells and the Jets, but NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue brokered a deal between the two sides, with New England releasing Parcells from his contract and the Jets giving New England a third and fourth round pick that year, a second round pick the next year and a first round draft choice the year after that.
Parcells again orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in his first year with the Jets. In his first season with the Jets, the team barely missed the playoffs with a record of 9–7. In 1998, the Jets went to the playoffs with a 12–4 record, which was good enough for second place in the conference and earned the Jets their third home playoff game since moving to New Jersey in 1984 (their first home playoff game was against the New England Patriots following the 1985 season), but lost to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game.
In 1999, expectations were high for the Jets to go to the Super Bowl. However, quarterback Vinny Testaverde ruptured his achilles tendon in the Jets home opener and the season went downhill from there. After starting the season 1–6, the Jets won three straight and faced the Indianapolis Colts. Parcells emphasized the importance of not obtaining a "7th loss" but they did lose to the Colts and then to the New York Giants the following week. At 4–8, the Jets were in danger of finishing below .500. The Jets would finish 8–8, but out of the playoffs. In 1999, Bill Parcells retired from football for the second time, vowing that he would not coach again. He remained with the Jets one more year as general manager.
Dallas Cowboys 
In his first season with the Cowboys, he led them to the playoffs with a 10–6 record (losing to the eventual NFC Champion Carolina Panthers in the opening round), thus making him the first head coach in NFL history to guide four different teams to the playoffs.
The 2004 season was one of turmoil. Starting quarterback Quincy Carter was terminated for alleged drug use in favor of 40-year-old veteran Vinny Testaverde, who had been brought to the Cowboys from the New York Jets by his former coach in the off-season. While a favorite of Coach Parcells, Testaverde proved ineffective as a starter. The Cowboys started strong, with victories against the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins, but injuries, older personnel, spotty play calling, and persistent penalties hobbled the Cowboys, and they quickly fell off to a 3–5 record by midseason, finishing the season 6–10.
The Cowboys improved their defense before the 2005 season with the additions of first round draft picks Demarcus Ware and Marcus Spears. Parcells drafted these players in hopes of jumpstarting the team's transition from the traditional 4–3 defense to a 3–4 defense, which Parcells had run in all of his previous stops. Jerry Jones also added a number of high-priced older veteran players, acquiring nose tackle Jason Ferguson and cornerback Anthony Henry via free agency, and linebacker Scott Fujita via the Kansas City Chiefs. On offense, the Cowboys felt the need to upgrade their passing game to complement their top 2004 draft pick, running back Julius Jones, and acquired quarterback Drew Bledsoe via free agency. During his tenure, Parcells made a point of signing players who had played for him in the past, including Bledsoe, Terry Glenn (with the Patriots), Testaverde, cornerback Aaron Glenn, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and fullback Richie Anderson with the Jets. In 2005, the Cowboys went 9–7, missing the playoffs by one game.
In 2006 the Cowboys signed controversial former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens. Keyshawn Johnson was released and signed with the Carolina Panthers. Owens, whom Parcells never referred to by name, but rather as "The Player", was fairly successful with the team. In week 7 of the 2006 season, Parcells decided to replace veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe with fourth year quarterback Tony Romo. The Cowboys were 6–4 with Romo as the starter. They finished the season with a 9–7 overall record but failed to win the NFC East Division after a 23–7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Day in week 16 followed by a loss to the last-place team in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions in week 17. They were able to clinch a playoff berth as the 5th seed in the NFC, eventually losing 21–20 against the Seahawks in Seattle on January 6, on a botched hold by Tony Romo during a field goal attempt.
Parcells would finish his Dallas stint with a 34–32 record and no playoff wins.
Third retirement 
Parcells would have entered the final year of his contract with the Cowboys in 2007, and had been facing questions all year as to whether he would return to the Cowboys to coach his final season. With his 0–2 playoff record over four years as coach of Dallas, many had begun to wonder if the game had simply "passed him by." Immediately following the Cowboys' loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Parcells said that he was unsure if he would return in 2007, and the rumors about Parcells' future escalated.
On January 9, the Newark Star Ledger reported through anonymous sources that Parcells had contacted the New York Giants about their available General Manager position, but the Giants were not interested in Parcells' services. Parcells, the next day, quickly refuted any interest in the Giants GM position, stating, "There is absolutely nothing to it. Whoever said it is a liar."
On January 22, 2007, he announced his retirement as head coach of the Cowboys after 4 years, apparently ending his coaching career.
Evidently, there are still questions as to his specific reasons for leaving the game. There were even reports that Parcells had been holding out for more money, and that Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones simply did not think Parcells' performance was worth the money he was demanding for the upcoming season.
After retiring from coaching, Parcells became a studio analyst for ESPN. This was his fourth stint with the network, having worked there before accepting the job in Dallas, where he coached both the Dallas Cowboys and a little league team for charity. It was rumored that ESPN offered him a position on Monday Night Football, but Parcells declined the opportunity. (It is also worth noting that ESPN still held a contract with Parcells as a broadcaster even as he coached the Cowboys.)
Miami Dolphins 
On December 19, 2007, the Miami Herald reported that Parcells had agreed to become the new Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the Miami Dolphins. ESPN reported the following day that he signed a four-year contract. Just a day prior, reports linking Parcells to the Atlanta Falcons' position of vice president of football operations were leaked. However, the following day the Falcons formally announced that Parcells had turned down the offer because of discussions with Miami.
In the first season as Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Parcells fired head coach Cam Cameron, GM Randy Mueller, along with a few assistant coaches, after a 1–15 finish in the 2007 season. With vacancies at the GM and head coaching spots, he brought in Jeff Ireland to be the general manager and signed Tony Sparano as head coach.
The new front office under Parcells then signed over 20 little-known players in the free-agent market.
In the 2008 draft, they drafted offensive tackle Jake Long with the No. 1 overall pick, along with Phillip Merling, Kendall Langford, Chad Henne, Lex Hilliard, and Donald Thomas. They also signed undrafted free agents Dan Carpenter and Davone Bess.
They also released fan favorite Zach Thomas, who would end up signing with the Dallas Cowboys, and traded star defensive end Jason Taylor to the Washington Redskins for a second round pick in the 2009 draft.
The Dolphins finished the 2008 season 11–5 and became AFC East champions when Pennington and the Dolphins defeated Favre and the Jets in the final game of the season. They finished with a 10 game improvement from the previous season, making the Dolphins one of two teams in NFL history to accomplish a 10 game turnaround, the other being the 1999 Indianapolis Colts. It was also the first time since 2001 that the Dolphins made the playoffs. However, they were routed in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, 27–9.
Potential return to coaching 
In March 2012, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire upcoming 2012 season by the NFL for not reporting a bounty system set up by his defense during 2009 and 2010. Upon his suspension, Payton asked his former mentor Parcells if he would be interested in filling the head coaching vacancy. Parcells had not made the decision to join the Saints as of April 6, 2012. On April 11, 2012, Parcells revealed in an interview with Mike Tirico that he had decided against joining the Saints but would help Sean Payton in any way he could.
Head coaching record 
|Air Force Falcons (NCAA Division I-A Independent) (1978)|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|NYG||1983||3||12||1||.219||5th in NFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NYG||1984||9||7||0||.562||2nd in NFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game|
|NYG||1985||10||6||0||.625||2nd in NFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to Chicago Bears in NFC Divisional Game|
|NYG||1986||14||2||0||.875||1st in NFC East||3||0||1.000||Super Bowl XXI Champions|
|NYG||1987||6||9||0||.400||5th in NFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NYG||1988||10||6||0||.625||2nd in NFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NYG||1989||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Los Angeles Rams in NFC Divisional Game|
|NYG||1990||13||3||0||.812||1st in NFC East||3||0||1.000||Super Bowl XXV Champions|
|NE||1993||5||11||0||.312||4th in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NE||1994||10||6||0||.625||2nd in AFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Cleveland Browns in AFC Wild-Card Game|
|NE||1995||6||10||0||.375||4th in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NE||1996||11||5||0||.687||1st in AFC East||2||1||.667||Lost to Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI|
|NYJ||1997||9||7||0||.562||3rd in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|NYJ||1998||12||4||0||.750||1st in AFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Championship Game|
|NYJ||1999||8||8||0||.500||4th in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|DAL||2003||10||6||0||.625||2nd in NFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Carolina Panthers in NFC Wild-Card Game|
|DAL||2004||6||10||0||.375||3rd in NFC East||–||–||–||–|
|DAL||2005||9||7||0||.562||3rd in NFC East||–||–||–||–|
|DAL||2006||9||7||0||.562||2nd in NFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Wild-Card Game|
Coaching tree 
As of 2011, former Parcells assistants who are currently head coaches in either the NFL or the college ranks include:
- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
- Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
- Mike MacIntyre, University of Colorado
- Charlie Weis, University of Kansas
In addition, former Parcells assistants who previously served as NFL or College head coaches include:
- Ray Handley, New York Giants (1991–92)
- Chris Palmer, Cleveland Browns (1999–2000)
- Al Groh, New York Jets (2000), University of Virginia (2001–2009)
- Eric Mangini, New York Jets (2006–2008), Cleveland Browns (2009–2010)
- Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins (2008–2011)
- Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns (2005-2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2011-2012)
See also 
Notes and references 
- Gutman, Bill (2000). "Parcells: A Biography". Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- "Bill Parcells "The Tuna"". chickenortuna.com. 1997. Retrieved 2010-07-27. "I think it goes back to my first time with the Patriots. There was an old commercial from StarKist with Charlie the StarKist tuna. So my players were trying to con me on something one time, and I said, 'You must think I'm Charlie the Tuna.'"
- "Parcells, Carter finally make Pro Football Hall of Fame". USA Today. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Fifty years ago today, when the course of NFL history changed forever with the so-called "Greatest Game Ever Played," New Jersey's favorite football son did not sit transfixed in front of his family's grainy black-and-white television set in Hasbrouck Heights."
- "Bill and Don shared a bed in the family's small house in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J."
- "Bill is his nickname. His real name is Duane Charles Parcells, but once he became a teen-ager only his mother called him Duane. He was raised in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., and everyone knew him as Duane except his fourth-grade teacher. She used to say, Duane Parcells, is she here?"
- "Young Bill usually got his way, even when it came to unofficially changing his birth name, Duane Charles, which Doug said his brother "always hated.' Assigned to a new school, River Dell High, in his sophomore year, he found that students confused him with a boy named Bill. So Parcells adopted the name and made it stick."
- "When the family moved to Oradell, he said, people there confused him with a boy named Bill. So he became Bill, too."
- Puma, Mike. Parcells made struggling franchises into winners, ESPN.com. Accessed October 11, 2006. "When he entered River Dell High School in 1955, Parcells was one of the biggest kids in his class at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds."
- The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/g/gutman-parcells.html
|url=missing title (help).
- "Charles viewed sports as a healthy diversion, but wanted his son to study law. Bill decided to play football in college. He was a freshman at Colgate when the Philadelphia Phillies offered him a contract. Charles quickly nixed that idea. Parcells then transferred to the University of Wichita (now Wichita State), where he played linebacker in 1958–59 and earned a physical education degree."
- "Parcells went to Wichita State, where he was a good enough linebacker to be drafted in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions."
- "But he was more interested in coaching than playing, and he became an assistant coach at Hastings, Wichita State, Army, Florida State, Vanderbilt and Texas Tech. In 1978, for the first time, he became a head coach. It was at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, where the talent, like the air, was thin and the team finished at 3–8."
- http://www.mahalo.com/Bill_Parcells "Bill Parcells started his [head] coaching career with the Air Force Academy and was part-time assistant basketball coach at Army, while Bobby Knight was the head coach."
- "Knight equals Dean Smith on all-time wins list after Texas Tech tops Bucknell". USA Today. 2006-12-23. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "The next year, he accepted a job as an assistant coach of the Giants. But before the season started, he resigned and took a job with a land-development company in Colorado."
- "In 1980, the New England Patriots hired him as linebacker coach."
- "In 1981, Ray Perkins, the Giants' head coach, hired him and allowed him to change the Giants' 4–3 defense to a 3–4."
- "With three games left in the 1982 season, Perkins agreed to return the following year to the University of Alabama, his alma mater, as athletic director and football coach...Young, who believes in continuity, felt the Giants should promote someone already on the staff. He chose Parcells, and the Giants finished the season with Perkins as the head coach and Parcells as the defensive coordinator and heir apparent."
- "Young Is Angry". The New York Times. 1983-12-12. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- How The Dunk Was Born – ESPN
- A Splashy Football Tradition, Gatorade Style - The New York Times
- Myers, Gary (2007-12-19). "Report: Bill Parcells considering Falcons' VP of football operations post". Daily News (New York).
- "With Parcells, it's the same old song, different verse". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 2002-01-19. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1998/ – 1998 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics|Pro-Football-Reference.com
- – 1998 Football Standings – The Football Database
- "Giants: Say no thanks to Parcells". Newark Star-Ledger. 2007-01-09. Archived from the original on January 11 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- "Parcells denies interest in Giants' GM job". MSNBC. 2007-01-10. Archived from the original on January 24 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
- [dead link]
- "SI.com – Money men – Jul 2, 2007". CNN. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Parcells accepts top job with Dolphins – December 19, 2007 – MiamiHerald.com
- ESPN – Parcells signs four-year deal to head Dolphins' football operations – NFL
- ESPN – ESPN's Parcells likely to become vice president of Falcons – NFL
- 11Alive.com | Atlanta, GA | Parcells Leaves Falcons At Altar
- "The Tuna has reeled in a starting QB and some sizable Fish up front. The verdict: bigger, and a bit better". Sports Illustrated. 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- "Pennington finds redemption in New York". MSNBC. 2008-12-28. Archived from the original on January 22 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- Bill Parcells Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks – Pro-Football-Reference.com
|Awards and achievements|
|Super Bowl Winning Head Coaches
Super Bowl XXI, 1986
Super Bowl XXV, 1990
|Super Bowl Losing Head Coaches
Super Bowl XXXI, 1997