Tuna’s school gathering prestige


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It’s not like Bill Parcells needs help getting in the Hall of Fame — He’s responsible for rebuilding five franchises on hard times and will go down as one of the best architects in league history.

But here’s another notch in his belt: He kinda knows how to develop his assistant coaches as well. His old defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick has won three titles (2001, ’03, ’04), and came close to a fourth following a 16-0 regular season.

That quest for 19-0 was ended by another Parcells disciple, Big Bill’s old receivers coach Tom Coughlin (’07). And last night, a third Tuna helper got the job done, with his old Cowboys offensive coordinator Sean Payton winning Super Bowl XLIV.


If you’re counting, that’s half of the 10 championships won this decade.

“(Dolphins coach) Tony Sparano and I spent three years with Bill in Dallas, three long years, a lot of work,” Payton said this morning. “I think Bill’s been a great influence on our careers. Said this a number of times during the week, that I’ve been very fortunate to have come up and worked with a number of great coaches. And when you’re afforded that opportunity, you’re able to hone your skills and hopefully learn and become a better coach.

“I was very fortunate, the years I spent in New York with Wellington Mara and the Tisch family, and then to have an opportunity to work with Bill and Jerry Jones’ family. Those opportunities don’t come around too often. I had a number of conversations with Bill leading up to this game, and just recently, 10 minutes before I got in here. He taught me so much, just about people, and about teaching and about evaluation and about preparation.

“And I’m better having had a chance to have worked with him. In the history of our league, all the great coaches, great players, when you’re able to be a part of that history, I think you’re better off for it. I know you are. It’s a big reason I’m here today, holding this thing.”

That “thing” was the Lombardi Trophy. And in a way, one more sign of the immense impact Parcells has had on the league.

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