Jaguars to add inaugural GM/coach Tom Coughlin into ring of honor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tom Coughlin, the inaugural general manager and head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars before going on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, will be inducted into the franchise’s ring of honor during the 2024 season, the team announced Thursday.

Coughlin, 77, will become the seventh member of the Pride of the Jaguars, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Boselli, former players Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith, and inaugural owners Wayne and Delores Weaver. Coughlin is the first inductee since Smith in 2016.

“The story of the Jaguars cannot be told without Tom Coughlin and the influence he had on our expansion team and new fan base here in North Florida,” Boselli, the franchise’s first draft pick, said in a statement. “He is our foundational figure and the initial architect. He built our football operation and set it up for sustained success.

“Beyond all the remarkable on-field achievements, he also showed everyone how an NFL team could win off the field by positively impacting the communities surrounding us. Speaking for the PRIDE and the entire Jaguars organization, we are collectively excited to celebrate Coach and thank him for positive impact his NFL legacy will forever have on the Jaguars and throughout Jacksonville.”

Weaver hired Coughlin to be the Jaguars’ first head coach and general manager in 1993 ahead of the franchise’s first season in 1995. He guided Jacksonville to a 68-60 record and four playoff appearances — including the 1996 and 1999 AFC Championship Games — during his eight-year stint with the team.

However, Coughlin also badly mishandled the salary cap when making a push to win it all in 1999. The Jaguars were $23 million over the cap in 2002 and needed to make five players available in the expansion draft for the Houston Texans. One of them was Boselli, the best player in franchise history and a Hall of Fame inductee in 2022. Weaver fired Coughlin following the 2002 season.

Coughlin went on to compile a 102-90 record and two Super Bowl titles in 15 seasons with the Giants before resigning in January 2016.

Coughlin returned to the Jaguars in 2017 as the executive vice president of football operations along with coach Doug Marrone. The Jaguars went 10-6 and advanced to the AFC Championship Game that season but things fell apart in 2018 because of injuries, the quarterback situation, bad free agent signings and the deterioration of relationships between the team and some of its best players.

Owner Shad Khan fired Coughlin on Dec. 18, 2019, two days after the NFL Players Association warned players of potentially signing with the franchise because of excessive fines and player grievances.

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