Over 19 seasons as an NFL head coach, Parcells had a 172-130-1 record (.570) in the regular season, with eight division titles. His teams were 11-8 in the playoffs. His Giants won Super Bowl XXI against Denver and Super Bowl XXV over Buffalo.
Parcells had to wait a while, earning a bust in Canton, Ohio, on his fourth try. He thought he might get in the previous year, in tandem with one of his former players, Curtis Martin.
‘‘It was a little less stressful than last year,’’ Parcells said. ‘‘I was kind of hoping we could do it together, but as fate would have it, it didn’t work out.’’
Giants president and CEO John Mara said Parcells’s selection was ‘‘long overdue.’’
‘‘He’s one of the best coaches in NFL history,’’ Mara said. ‘‘He turned our franchise around. We went through a long period in the 1960s and ’70s when we were a laughingstock.
“When Bill took over in 1983, he survived a very difficult first year, but then turned us into a perennial playoff contender . . . everywhere he went, he had great success.’’
Parcells first retired as a head coach in 1990 and worked in television for a couple of years.
But in 1993, then-Patriots owner James Orthwein pulled Parcells back onto the sidelines, giving the much-maligned franchise a marquee coach.
New England had won just two games the year before, giving it the top pick in the ’93 draft. The Patriots chose 6-foot-5-inch Washington State quarterback Drew Bledsoe, and in only four years, the pair and new owner Robert Kraft had the team in the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history, losing to the Packers.
Parcells’s divorce from New England was a messy one, as he was orchestrating his move to the Jets as head coach and general manager while he was preparing the Patriots for the Super Bowl. Parcells did not like that he didn’t have as much influence as he wanted in personnel decisions.
Parcells and Kraft since have mended fences, and Saturday night Kraft said in a statement, “Congratulations to coach Parcells on his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is well deserved.
“As a Patriots fan, I will always appreciate the credibility he brought to our franchise as a two-time Super Bowl champion. We had never had a head coach with those credentials. I am very happy for Bill and look forward to his enshrinement ceremonies.”
Parcells was known for his ability to resurrect struggling franchises. As coach of the Jets from 1997-99, he won 29 games; in the two years before his arrival, they had won just four.
In Dallas, it was much the same: He doubled the team’s win total, from five in 2002 to 10 in 2003, the first of his four years as Cowboys coach.
In his final stop, Miami, where he served as vice president of football operations from 2008-10, the Dolphins went from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 in 2008, making the playoffs as AFC East champions in a tie-breaker over the Patriots.
Newsday’s Bob Glauber, who presented Parcells to the committee last year (he was presented by Gary Myers of the New York Daily News this year), talked about what changed for the coach known as The Tuna.
“The same information was out there, but I think maybe there was more of a willingness to appreciate exactly what he did,” Glauber said. “He took four franchises that were terrible before he got there, just brutally bad, including the Patriots, who were as bad as there was, and he turned them around.”
“Bill Parcells has been thought of as one of the all-time greats for a long time,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement, “so it is with great pride that we can officially refer to him as a Hall of Famer. He deserves all the recognition he is getting and for his career to be celebrated in Canton forever.”
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.