Syracuse UniversityOrange Central

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  • Thomas R. Coughlin ’68, G’69

    Arents Award Recipient for Excellence in Athletics and Philanthropic Leadership

    Thomas R. Coughlin ’68, G’69Tom Coughlin ’68, G’69 is the executive vice president of football operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). As executive vice president, Coughlin oversees the Jaguars’ day-to-day football operations.

    Coughlin's decorated NFL career spans 29 years, including 20 seasons as a head coach. He coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl championships in 2008 and 2012. His overall coaching record of 182-157 (a .537 winning percentage) is 12th on the NFL’s all-time coaching wins list, and his 12 playoff wins rank seventh in league history. Coughlin also served as the NFL’s senior advisor to football operations before the Jaguars hired him in January 2017. 

    Coughlin was a three-year letter winner on the SU football team for Hall of Fame head coach Ben Schwartzwalder. He was part of the feared Orange backfield alongside future College and Pro Football Hall of Famers Larry Csonka ’68 and Floyd Little ’67. During his senior season (1967), Coughlin led Syracuse in both receptions and receiving yards as the Orange compiled an 8-2 record and the No. 12 ranking in the final United Press International (UPI) poll. Jim Boeheim ’66, G’73, SU’s Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach, served as Coughlin’s resident advisor during Coughlin’s senior year at SU.

    Coughlin was appointed Syracuse’s assistant freshman coach in 1968. Following a five-year stint as coach at Rochester Institute of Technology, Coughlin came back to SU as the offensive backs coach in 1974 and spent seven years as an Orange assistant. He also served as an NFL assistant coach for seven years, and was Boston College’s head coach for three seasons before landing the Jaguars’ head coaching position for their inaugural season in 1995.

    Coughlin led the expansion Jaguars to 72 wins and four playoff appearances, including two American Football Conference (AFC) championship games, from 1995–2002. UPI honored Coughlin as its 1996 NFL Coach of the Year after he led Jacksonville to the AFC Championship game in the team’s second season.

    Coughlin’s Giants went 102-90 (.531 winning percentage) during 12 years, qualified for the playoffs five times, and won a pair of Super Bowl championships. His success recently earned Coughlin a spot in the team’s Ring of Honor.

    Off the football field, Coughlin and his wife, Judy, founded the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, which helps families tackle childhood cancer by providing financial, emotional, and practical support. The fund honors the memory of Jay McGillis, one of Coughlin’s student-athletes on the Boston College football team. McGillis passed away from leukemia in 1992.

    The Coughlins reside in Atlantic Beach, Florida. They have four children—Keli, Kate, Brian, and Tim—and 12 grandchildren.