It's too early to tell
Now is not the time and place to determine if Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach. He still is coaching and could add, or even subtract, from his legacy. What's more, there is a five-year waiting period before a retired candidate can be considered. That period helps put accomplishments in perspective.
You can make an interesting case for Coughlin. His career compares well to Marv Levy, who is enshrined in Canton. But you can make a case against him too. Winning two Super Bowls hasn't been enough to get Tom Flores, George Seifert and Bill Parcells into the Hall.
If Coughlin can win a third Lombardi Trophy, however, he will have a resume that may be impossible to ignore.
Comparable to Belichick
Tom Coughlin has won as many Super Bowls as Bill Parcells and is only one behind the great Bill Belichick, who he has beaten in two Super Bowls and is universally considered as one of the greatest coaches of all-time.
And let's not forget, Coughlin built the Jaguars from scratch and nurtured them into the most successful expansion franchise in NFL history. Twice in the Jaguars' first five years of existence, they were in the AFC championship game — one victory away from the Super Bowl.
Compare Coughlin's tenure with the Jaguars and Belichick's tenure in his first head-coaching job (in Cleveland) and it's not even close. Belichick was a total flop with the Browns; Coughlin gave Jaguars fans their greatest memories.
Yes, look at his Jaguars
Tom Coughlin should be in the Hall of Fame, and not just because of his two Super Bowl victories — although those put him in the conversation. But look back to his work as receivers coach with Bill Parcells' Giants, and, more important, what he was able to do with the Jaguars.
Amazingly, he got the Jags to the AFC championship game in their second season, and twice in their first five seasons. His first five years there, his teams finished 4-12, 9-7, 11-5, 11-5 and 14-2. In the nine seasons since Coughlin was fired, the Jaguars have had two years with double-digit wins.
This guy has a proven track record of making franchises better, and even elite.
Even before Sunday's win
Tom Coughlin is not only a Hall of Fame coach now, but he was before winning his second Super Bowl.
His body of work has just been too good to omit, starting with his days as a college coach at Boston College, where in three seasons he returned it to the Top 25 and knocked off a No. 1 (Notre Dame) along the way. He then took expansion Jacksonville to the AFC title game in its second season of existence and again three seasons later, when they went 14-2.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun