NFL

A Bike Ride Gone Horribly Wrong Landed Former Jaguars VP Tom Coughlin in the Hospital

Tom Coughlin has had a rough go since winning his last Super Bowl in 2012. The two-time winner was once the face of the Giants alongside Eli Manning, but recent years have not been as friendly to Coughlin. Following a reunion with the first team he coached, the Jaguars, Coughlin was fired in December 2019. A recent bike accident added insult to injury and landed Coughlin in the hospital. 

Tom Coughlin’s NFL career

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Coughlin grew up in Waterloo, New York. He played football and basketball, according to Fandom. While he never made it past college as an athlete, this love of sports helped dictate the rest of his life. Not long after ending his college career at Syracuse, Coughlin joined the coaching staff as a graduate assistant before getting his first coaching job at the Rochester Institute of Technology at just 23 years old. There, he served for four seasons before returning to Syracuse in 1976 as a quarterbacks coach. 

Coughlin’s career as an assistant took him all around the football world. He was a quarterbacks coach at Boston College and a wide receivers coach with the Philadelphia Eagles in the mid-1980s. In 1986, he took a job as a wide receivers coach with the Green Bay Packers before packing his bag for the New York Giants in 1988. 

Finally, in 1988, Coughlin got another head coaching job at Boston College, where his success eventually landed him in the NFL as the coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. An expansion team, Coughlin was tasked with putting together the right pieces and build a winning roster. He did not waste much time, either. After a 2-12 inaugural season, Coughlin led the Jaguars to four-straight winning seasons, including a 14-2 season in 2999. Although he fell short of Super Bowl glory, the seeds to a long career were planted. 

Coughlin becomes a winner

Coughlin took over for a New York Giants team that was on the verge of something special in 2004. Their veteran quarterback, Kurt Warner, had a proven track record, but Eli Manning was behind him on the bench. Although Manning struggled as a rookie, he quickly showed that he had what it took to win. The QB made a career out of showing up at the right time to seal a victory. 

By 2008, the New York Giants were in the Super Bowl against the 18-0 New England Patriots. What ensued was one of the most impressive upsets in the history of sports, as Manning, Coughlin, and the New York Giants stunned the Patriots with a win. They repeated that success over the Patriots in 2012 when Manning’s heroics and Coughlin’s coaching helped settle their place on top. 

The Giants struggled to maintain that success in ensuing years, however, and Coughlin parted ways with the team in 2015. He was hired by the Jaguars once again in 2017, according to NFL.com, this time as an Executive Vice President. Unfortunately for him, the Jaguars failed to make much impact during those two seasons. In 2019, Coughlin was let go just two years after he took over the team. Months later, he found himself in the hospital after a biking accident. 

Tom Coughlin’s bike accident

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In July 2020, reports ESPN, Coughlin was riding his bike, as he often does, when somebody clipped his bike. Coughlin was traveling fast and fell off the bike violently. The fall left him with four fractured ribs, a head full of stitches, and a punctured lung. Coughlin initially resisted seeking help, but his family finally convinced him to go to the hospital. 

Luckily, the doctors said that the 73-year-old would recover quickly. Coughlin has had an enviable career in football. While the recent years have not been friendly to him, it’s great to see that he is recovering from his latest mishap. At his age, his days as an NFL coach or executive are likely over, but hopefully, he can get back on his bike and keep on going sooner, rather than later.