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Jul 05th
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Bill Parcells belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame

hughesJed012812_optBY JED HUGHES

If Bill Parcells, who won two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants, is not a Hall of Fame coach, then who is?

Parcells restored the Giants to their winning ways in the late 1980s and led them to two Super Bowl championships. He got the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1995 and brought the Jets to the AFC Championship game in 1999. He also led the Cowboys to the playoffs twice and is the only NFL coach ever to bring four different teams to the playoffs.

Bill Parcells knows how to elicit the best in his personnel, and he knows how to build a winning teams. Importantly, he changed the culture of three organizations -- the Giants, Patriots and Jets -- that had not been very relevant on the day that the coach took over.

Perhaps a lack of permanence hurt his Parcells' Canton candidacy. He never stayed very long at each of his stops. Other two-time Super Bowl winning coaches built long legacies in just one or two places. For instance, Vince Lombardi led the Packers to several NFL championships and two Super Bowl victories before his brief stint with the Redskins. Don Shula won with both the Colts and Dolphins. Chuck Noll and Tom Landry were institutions with the Steelers and Cowboys.

However, what Parcells lacked in stability, he made up for in legacy. It is no coincidence that this year's two Super Bowl head coaches were members of his staff with the Giants. Some leaders intend to keep talented assistants around them; others help them spread their wings and fly. Descendants of The Tuna's coaching tree -- Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichik -- have gone on two win five Super Bowls between them. The only head coach with a similar record of career-building was the 49ers' Bill Walsh, who handed George Seifert the keys to the kingdom. Seifert continued San Francisco's dynasty.

Yes, there are three retired two-time Super Bowl champion coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame: Seifert, Tom Flores, and Jimmy Johnson. Flores and Seifert inherited strong teams, which likely has hurt their candidacies. Meanwhile, Parcells turned programs around. Johnson may make it someday.

Maybe Bill Parcells was simply too abrasive for some voters' tastes. Perhaps there really is an anti-New York bias. The bottom line is that he left his teams in better places than when he first got there and certainly deserves Hall of Fame recognition. Voters with any football knowledge should right this wrong when they get their ballots next year.

Jed Hughes is Vice Chair of Korn/Ferry and the leader of the executive search firm's Global Sports Practice. Among his high profile placements are Mark Murphy, CEO of the Green Bay Packers; Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference; and Brady Hoke, head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hughes coached for two decades in professional and intercollegiate football where he served under five Hall of Fame coaches: Bo Schembechler (Michigan), Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh Steelers), Bud Grant (Minnesota Vikings), John Ralston (Stanford) and Terry Donahue (UCLA). He is a graduate of Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ. Follow him on Twitter @jedhughesKF.


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