There are many fans who still lament the firing of now New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, which happened now over 10 years ago when the coach was fired as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach following his third straight losing season in 2002.
That move has been included in CBS Sports' 10 worst head coach firings list.
7. Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville Jaguars: The franchise's first coach stayed with the expansion team from 1995-2002 before being fired. He took his team to the playoffs four times and finished with a 68-60 record in Jacksonville. After a year off he took over the New York Giants and has won two Super Bowl titles while compiling an overall record of 91-64.
This is brought up a lot, with a lot of people exclaiming the Jaguars should have "never fired Coughlin", but in my opinion Coughlin's firing at the time was just, and even using revisionist history it's still just.
Coughlin was 19-29 his final three seasons as the Jaguars head coach, which were the season's following the team's run in 1999 to the playoffs. The team's spending in free agency began to start coming back to bite them and the team wound up having to gut the roster and move on from some players they couldn't re-sign, such as Keenan McCardell.
Coughlin has had great success with the Giants after moving on from the Jaguars, but the assumption that he would have had the same success in Jacksonville is more nostalgia and revisionist history more than anything else. Coughlin had GM power with the Jaguars, and was a big reason why the team was in such a mess by the time he was fired. With the Giants, Coughlin is simply the head coach with a general manager above him picking the players.
Is Coughlin one of the worst firings in the NFL? I don't think so. At the time, both parties needed to move on.
Sometimes things just run their course (h/t @tealtalk).