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Business Brief: Jaguars Hail Coughlin's Return

coaches standing by field with TV camera
John Burr
Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone meet with reporters at EverBank Field.

The Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday introduced new leadership after the firing of head coach Gus Bradley. The team is counting on former Coach Tom Coughlin to give it the shot in the arm that’s been missing since he left more than a decade ago.

The Jaguars are the most well-known Jacksonville business around the world. And like all businesses, the organization has to look for good leadership, that elusive quality that’s so hard to define.

You know it when you see it, though, and it was on full display by Tom Coughlin at the press conference.

A reporter asked if the team will focus on winning games, and Head Coach Doug Marrone began answering in a diplomatic way, when Coughlin cut in—

“—Is it going to be a focus? What else is there? Why the hell would you be doing this if you didn’t want to win?”

After a horribly disappointing season, Jaguars owner Shad Khan began his press conference by declaring the three men seated in front of the press are the leaders of “a spectacular football staff.”

Two of those three men were part of the prior football staff, which no one characterized as “spectacular.” Doug Marrone is the new head coach due to an internal promotion, and General Manager David Caldwell is being kept on, albeit in a somewhat truncated role.

Coughlin, the inaugural coach of the franchise, took a ragtag group of players in 1995 and molded them into a surprise powerhouse that he took to the doorstep of playing in the Super Bowl twice. He was then fired and hired by the New York Giants, who he guided to two Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots. 

Make no mistake, this is Tom Coughlin’s team again.  The deference shown him by Khan, Marrone and Caldwell during the press conference bordered on complete and total reverence. Marrone told a nice story about approaching Coughlin 24 years ago asking for an assistant coaching job, which he finished by saying that he was thrilled to be finally working for the man, and Caldwell expressed gratitude to Khan for letting him stick around a couple more years to learn at the great man’s knee.

The Jaguars have their leader back.

Listen to the story on Redux

WJCT Business Analyst John Burr is a veteran journalist who has been been directing news coverage and reporting in Jacksonville since 1983. He is currently also a news analyst for WJCT, where he can be heard regularly on the "First Coast Connect" media roundtable.