Parcells announces his coaching retirement in e-mail to Cowboys

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

IRVING, Texas -- Bill Parcells retired from coaching Monday, leaving the Dallas Cowboys after four years without a playoff win and just two weeks after a stinging wild-card loss to Seattle.

During a 19-year career that also included coaching the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets, Parcells made it to three Super Bowls, winning twice with the Giants.

In his last try, the Cowboys blew a chance to beat the Seahawks when Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo botched a hold on a short field goal with a little more than a minute left.

Parcells goes out having lost four of his final five games, including the last three. His announcement came 15 days after the loss to Seattle.

"I am retiring from coaching football," Parcells said in a statement. "I want to thank Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones for their tremendous support over the last four years. Also, the players, my coaching staff and others in the support group who have done so much to help. Dallas is a great city and the Cowboys are an integral part of it. I am hopeful that they are able to go forward from here."

The announcement came in a morning e-mail.

"I am in good health and feel lucky to have been able to coach in the NFL for an extended period of time," Parcells said. "I leave the game and the NFL with nothing but good feelings and gratitude to all the players, coaches and other people that have assisted me in that regard."

Known best for a gruff demeanor and colorful quotes, Parcells leaves with the ninth most wins in NFL history and a career record of 183-138-1. He was 34-32 in Dallas, including 0-2 in the postseason. He had one year left at more than $5 million on a contract extension signed last January.

Before joining the Cowboys, Parcells led the Giants to Super Bowl wins after the 1986 and '90 seasons, got the Patriots to a Super Bowl and took the Jets to the AFC title game.

He gave up a job in television to return to the sideline in Dallas, energized by the challenge of restoring glory to "America's Team."

Steelers hire Tomlin

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin, the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the first black head coach in the team's 74-year history.

He accepted the job Sunday night and the hiring was announced Monday, with the contract to be completed later in the day. He was negotiating a four-year contract expected to pay him about $2.5 million a year.

Tomlin, the team's third coach in 38 years, was hired on the same day two black coaches made the Super Bowl for the first time: Lovie Smith in Chicago and Tony Dungy in Indianapolis.

Tomlin also may have benefited from the NFL's so-called Rooney Rule. Steelers owner Dan Rooney successfully lobbied in 2002 for a rule that requires all NFL teams to interview minority candidates for coaching jobs.

After a successful first season as Minnesota's defensive coordinator, Tomlin's name was one of about a dozen on a list of qualified minority candidates given Rooney at a mid-December meeting in New York. Rooney is the chairman of the NFL's committee on workplace diversity.

Raiders hire Kiffin

The Oakland Raiders hired Lane Kiffin on Monday night, making the 31-year-old Southern California offensive coordinator the youngest NFL head coach in decades. Kiffin earned the job with a strong interview Monday.The Raiders have called a news conference for today.

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