New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has officially retired from football.
Gilbride came to the decision after a miserable season in New York, in which the Giants offense finished 28th overall and Eli Manning tossed a career-high 27 interceptions.
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 (Debbie) for years I was going to do it. She moved back to Rhode Island (where she helps care for a granddaughter when the Gilbrides’ daughter is working), 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 has been an NFL coach since 1989. He was the head coach of the Chargers from 1997-98, and had overseen the Giants’ offense since 2007. Gilbride had one year left on his contract, just like Tom Coughlin, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Coughlin and Gilbride began working together in Jacksonville in 1995. There Gilbride was the offensive coordinator. When Coughlin moved to the Giants, Gilbride came along as the quarterbacks coach. Later Gilbride moved up to offensive coordinator.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of coaching,” Gilbride said. “Certainly the last 10 years with the Giants has been a special time, to be part of the bringing the Super Bowls to New York and New Jersey and the Giants organization. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the development of some of the young players that we brought along, certainly starting with Eli. But (also) Steve Smith and Victor Cruz; they hadn’t had a Pro Bowl receiver since 1968 and we brought two back to them. That’s been fun. And I thoroughly enjoyed being part of those exciting last-minute drives that we seem to excel at. That 2011 season, we had six or seven of them, including the Super Bowl.”
Former Bucs OC and Giants assistant Mike Sullivan is the heavy favorite to replace Gilbride, even though he is currently under contract by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team is undergoing a major overhaul after firing head coach Greg Schiano, who brought Sullivan with him two years ago.