Birthplace: Englewood, N.J.
Alma mater: Wichita State
Parcells is the only coach among this year’s finalists. He was a finalist twice before (in 2001 and 2002), but then became ineligible for a time after coming out of retirement to coach the Dallas Cowboys. Although he enjoyed somewhat limited success in his last coaching stop, he definitely earned his reputation as a turnaround specialist with the Giants, Patriots, and Jets. When he took the reins of the Giants, they were coming off a 4-5 strike-shortened season. He proceeded to lead them to two Super Bowl championships, which by itself seems enough for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. Consider, too, that he led each franchise that hired him to the playoffs, something no other head coach in NFL history has ever done. Not that it’s a factor in his selection, but Parcells (or the “Big Tuna” as he came to be known) was an outsized personality who was an all-pro quote meister with the media.