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Jags 20th: A Franchise Gets Its Coach


Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver took a franchise defining step on February 21, 1994 when he hired the man who would be as much Architect as Coach.

Weaver on that day announced highly-regarded Boston College Head Coach Tom Coughlin had agreed to become the first coach of the Jaguars. Coughlin was one of the college footballs' most innovative offensive minds and was widely believed to be one of the game's rising coaches.

For Coughlin, it was a return to the NFL. He had won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants on Bill Parcells' staff and he also worked in Green Bay and Philadelphia, and it was the alignment with Parcells and his two Lombardi Trophies that attracted Weaver to Coughlin. He was enamored with the 48-year-old Coughlin's well-established reputation as a no-nonsense, sleep-in-the-office, workaholic coach, going so far as to give Coughlin full discretion over all football matters.

That was a major step for the novice owner because it aligned him with a minority of teams whose head coach was also the general manager. "If you expect me to cook the dinner, you ought to let me shop for the groceries," was Parcells' famous quip and it clearly rubbed off on Coughlin.

"It (the relationship between coach and general manager) struck me as being too adversarial," Weaver explained. "I draft and give you the players and you coach."   Coughlin set out immediately to build both a coaching staff and a personnel department with total control over who, what, why, when and how.

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