Bill Parcells

Parcells, Bill, 1941–, American football coach, b. Englewood, N.J., as Duane Charles Parcells, nicknamed "the Big Tuna." He played for Colgate and Wichita State before being drafted (1964) and cut by the Detroit Lions. He then coached at six colleges before becoming (1978) head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Two years later, he entered the National Football League's coaching ranks as defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots; he became head coach of the faltering New York Giants in 1983. NFL Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1989, he led the Giants to Super Bowl wins in 1987 and 1991, when he stepped down. Parcells returned to football in 1993 as head coach of the struggling New England Patriots and revived the team, which made it to the Super Bowl in 1997. Parcells subsequently coached the New York Jets (1997–2000) and Dallas Cowboys (2003–7), turning lackluster teams into conference contenders. From 2007 to 2010 he was head of football operations for the Miami Dolphins. He also has worked in broadcasting (1991–3, 2011–).

See his autobiography (with M. Lupica, 1987); his Finding a Way to Win (with J. Coplon, 1995); B. Gutman, Parcells: A Biography (2000); M. Shropshire, When the Tuna Went Down to Texas (2004).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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