Tom Coughlin's reign as head coach of the New York Giants is over, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"Tom Coughlin has informed his coaching staff that the Giants are making a head coaching change, source tells ESPN," Scheftertweeted Monday afternoon.
As for the semantics on whether or not Coughlin was "fired," Schefter tweeted: "Wording on a monumental departure: Tom Coughlin has officially stepped down as Giants HC, per source. Coughlin decided to step down before Giants asked if he wanted to stay, per source. Coughlin will remain active, open to listening to teams."
Coughlin released a statement at 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
“I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach. I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.
“Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons.
“I think it has been evident these last 12 years here how much pride I take in representing this franchise. I am gratified and proud that we were able to deliver two more Lombardi trophies to the display case in our lobby during that time. That is a tribute to our players and staff, and it was truly fulfilling to be the leader of those teams.
“I appreciate the support of John and his family and Steve and his family, and of Jerry Reese and his staff. I think our organization is a great representation of what I mean when I talk about ‘team’.
“Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife Judy and our four children and their spouses and our 11 (soon to be 12) grandchildren. None of this would have been possible without their unconditional love and support.”
Coughlin and Giants ownership met for an hour Monday. The move, which was widely expected, opens up one of the more coveted jobs in the NFL.
As for Coughlin, a Hall of Fame call could be next.
A coach with two Super Bowl victoriesand a resume stretching six decades (starting with Syracuse in 1969)will certainly give voters a lot to think about when the 69-year-old is up for induction in a few years.
With world championships, led by defense and Eli Manning in 2007 and 2011, Coughlin has given Giantsfans some of the highest of highs (like David Tyree, and thwarting the mighty Patriots).
But he's also overseen several low points with the team - missing the playoffs during each of his last four seasons.
New York has a 102-89 record with Coughlin at the helm, and a 12-7 record in the five postseasons.
Prior to joining the Giants in 2002, Coughlin had a successful run with Jacksonville, then an expansion franchise, taking them to four straight playoff appearancesbefore fading away during struggles in his last three years there.
Mentored by Bill Parcells, Coughlin has been known (perhaps less of late) for holding players accountable and utilizing an old-school approach.
The coach also worked as a position coach for the Packers Eagles and Giants as well as at various capacities at the college level, including as head coach of Boston College.
Coughlin boasts an impressive coaching tree that includes Lane Kiffin, BottyPetrino, Tony Sparano, Steve Spagnuolo and Matt Rhule.