Former Giants OC Gilbride: 'I retired because I couldn't be a HC'
- by Doug Samuels 5 months ago
One quick glance over Kevin Gilbride's coaching resume that spans nearly 40 years, will show just two head coaching stops. Five years at his Southern Connecticut State, where he went 35-14-2, and two seasons as the head coach with the San Diego Chargers (1997-1998).
Gilbride is perhaps best known for his time as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, making stops with the Houston Oilers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, and most recently, the New York Giants. With a couple Super Bowl rings to his name alongside Tom Coughlin, at 62 years old, Gilbride still had aspirations of being a head coach, but after a disastrous 2013 season, he felt like his time had run out, and it was time to get out of the game
"I had told (wife) Deborah, if I didn't get a head job this year, the age is becoming a factor, so let me move out of here," Gilbride told said at a recent benefit, according to the Long Island Newsday. "Of course we had a disastrous year, so it wasn't going to happen this year. I thought maybe one more time I could have put myself in position for some of those jobs."
"Every year you go [on interviews], you look older and older to them and a less likely candidate. They don't realize that the guys who have been winning have been the older coaches."
Gilbride joined the Giants organization as the quarterbacks coach with when Coughlin was hired to lead the organization back in 2004. His name has popped up for numerous coaching vacancies through the years, but the recent influx of younger head coaches seeing success at the college and NFL ranks ultimately led Gilbride out of the coaching profession.
With guys like Eli Manning and Warren Moon on his long list of mentored quarterbacks, Gilbride has had other opportunities, but feels that at age 62, it was head coach or bust.
"I had some people ask me to coach some quarterbacks and receivers, draft-eligible guys," he said. "But I said I would have stayed coaching if I was going to do that, so I didn't want to do that."
Rack your brain for a minute or so trying to name the head coaches who have won Super Bowls after age 60? Names that come to mind are Pete Carroll, Dick Vermeil, Tom Coughlin (who has won two in his sixties). The past few seasons NFL and college teams have often pulled the trigger on a youthful, outgoing, energetic face of the program (or franchise), so it's hard to blame Gilbride for his rationale at this time.