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With the New York Giants' surprisingly dominant victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Tom Coughlin moved up a notch on the franchise's all-time wins list. Coughlin is the 17th Giants head coach and now has the second most victories. Their first coach, Bob Folwell, lasted one season, and had an 8-4 record. Roy Andrews (1929 and part of '30) had the best winning percentage (.828, 24-5-1 record), while Bill Arnsparger (1974 through the first eight games of '76) had the worst (.200, 7-29 record). Earl Pottinger ('27) and Jim Lee Howell ('56) were the other two coaches not on the following list to win championships. Here are the five coaches with the most wins in Giants history.
[POLL: Better coach -- Coughlin or Parcells?]
5. Allie Sherman, 57-51-4: Sherman first joined the Giants coaching staff in 1949 as an assistant, and stuck with them through 1952. He then went up north to the CFL to become the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for five seasons. He returned to the Giants in 1959, when he replaced Vince Lombardi as the team's offensive coordinator. In 1961, the Brooklyn native followed Jim Lee Howell as head coach of Big Blue, and he won the Coach of the Year award in his first two seasons and led his team to three consecutive NFL Championship Game appearances (but, unfortunately, they lost all three). Like the other tenant of Yankee Stadium, the Giants quickly went downhill in the mid '60s, and the fans serenaded their coach with verses of "Goodbye Allie" in his last few seasons. The final nail in his coffin was a poor 1969 preseason, highlighted by a loss to the New York Jets in the two teams' first-ever meeting. Howell was fired before the beginning of the regular season. In all, he coached 112 games, from '61 to '68, for a winning percentage of .528. Little-known fact: He began his playing career in 1943 for a team briefly called the Steagles, which was a combination of the Steelers and Eagles, who were lumped together for a season due to a lack of players during World War II. Sherman spent the rest of his playing career with the Eagles.
4. Jim Fassel, 58-53-1: Fassel was also named Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm of the Giants, in 1997, and went on to coach a total of 112 games, through the 2003 season. He had a .523 winning percentage, and led the Giants to a Super Bowl appearance, and, like Sherman, couldn't quite reach the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, all three seasons that Fassel's teams qualified for the postseason, disaster loomed in each one. There were the meltdowns against the Minnesota Vikings (in '97) and 49ers (in '02) along with the beatdown by the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl that followed the 2000 season. Fassel, who had a 2-3 postseason record, will always be remembered for his "chips to the middle of the table" playoff guarantee that came true in 2000. Little-known fact: He played quarterback for the Hawaiians of the short-lived World Football League in 1974 and '75.
3. Bill Parcells, 77-49-1: Parcells (along with George Young) was instrumental in turning the Giant franchise around for good and molding them into a model, winning organization, when he became head coach in 1983. He first joined the Giants in 1979 as the defensive coordinator, briefly left for a year with the New England Patriots, and then returned in '81, when he changed the defense to a 3-4 configuration. He was named the Coach of the Year in '86, had an 8-3 playoff record and, of course, led his team to two Super Bowls while having the honor of being the first coach to be dunked with Gatorade. He deserves to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, if only for his ability to handle Lawrence Taylor. He coached the Giants for a total of 127 games, for a .611 winning percentage. Little-known facts: His real name is Duane Charles Parcells. When he moved from Hasbrouck Heights to Oradell as a high school student, he was constantly mistaken for another boy, whose name was Bill. Parcells liked "Bill" better than "Duane" so he took that as his nickname. He was a three-sport star in high school, playing quarterback, pitcher and center in basketball, and was drafted by the Detroit Lions, but was cut before he could play a game in the NFL.
2. Tom Coughlin, 78-56: Coughlin has survived living on the hot seat for much of his Giants career, and is now possibly on his way to Canton with two Super Bowl wins and counting (not to mention building the Jacksonville Jaguars from scratch and leading them to a pair of Conference Championship Games). And his two championship teams were underdogs by any measure, so his coaching played a big hand in both titles. He arrived in 2004, along with Eli Manning, and has coached 134 games, with a .582 winning percentage and an 8-3 playoff record. Little-known facts: He set his high school's single-season touchdown record, which still stands, at 19. He shared a backfield, while attending Syracuse, with Larry Csonka and Floyd Little, and his RA was Jim Boeheim.
1. Steve Owen, 153-100-17: Owen was sold to the Giants by the Cleveland Bulldogs and was the captain on the Giants' first-ever NFL Championship team, in 1927 (there were no title games yet -- whichever team finished the season with the best record was crowned the champion). He became a co-player/coach in 1930, and then the full-time head coach in 1931 (though he was still an active player that season). He led the Giants to a championship in 1934, when his Giants defeated the Chicago Bears in what has become known as the Sneakers Game, and also in 1938, beating the Green Bay Packers. Owen had a 2-8 playoff record, and coached the Giants through the 1953 season, when he retired. He never signed a contract with the Maras, only having a handshake agreement in his two-plus decades as coach. Owen was an innovator, who created the A formation on offense and the umbrella defense. He's a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Note: Pro Football Reference.com has his coaching record at 151-100-17, the Pro Football Hall of Fame.com site states his record is 155-108-17 and the Giants' own Web site has him at 153-100-17).