62-year old Kevin Gilbride announced his retirement Thursday, following seven years as the offensive coordinator with the New York Giants. Before that, he spent three years as the team’s quarterback coach.
“Tough to see my mentor and friend Coach Kevin Gilbride retire,” Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz tweeted on his page. “He was a second father to me and has taught me so much. Wish you the best.”
Owner Jon Mara promised changes to the Giants offense, after finishing the year 7-9, as well as starting off the season at 0-6. According to ESPN.com Giants reporter, Dan Graziano, a source close to the retiring has said that recently fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Mike Sullivan is expected to be leading canditate for the offensive coordinator position.
Sullivan was a former assistant coach for the Giants from 2004-2011, where he was the wide receivers coach (2004-2009) and quarterbacks coach (2010-2011). He also spent time as an assistant for Army, Youngstown State and University of Ohio at various positions. He was hired by the Buccaneers on Feb. 10, 2012 as the offensive coordinator before being fired on Dec. 30, 2013.
In a statement sent out by the Giants, Gilbride explained why it was time to step down.
“It’s hard to say, ‘It’s time’,” Gilbride said. “To finally do it, it’s a very unnatural feeling. I’ve been telling my wife for years I was going to do it. She moved back to Rhode Island, so I’ve been by myself in the hotel for three or four years. I knew this was it and I was going to do it. I finally pulled the trigger. But it’s difficult.”
Gilbride’s future with the Giants was uncertain throught the year as his offense plummeted, including the franchise-record 27 interceptions thrown by quarterback Eli Manning. The offense saw the decline of wide receiver Hakeem Hicks, and was shut out twice.
According to the New York Daily News, some expected Giants head coach Tom Coughlin to fight for Gilbride to keep his coach, if Mara and the Giants decided to make a change. Gilbride was also Coughlin’s offensive coordinator in 1995-1996 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Kevin is a professional” Coughlin said in a team statement. “He’s been an exceptional football coach for the New York Giants. He helped win two Super Bowl championships. Kevin was the play-caller in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. He has done a great service to the franchise.”
- Zach Libby is a Staff Writer for ProSportsExtra.comÂ
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