Cover image for Parcells : a biography
Parcells : a biography
Gutman, Bill.
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
xv, 304 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV939.P37 G88 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV939.P37 G88 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Both intimidating and disarming, at once a regular-Joe Jersey kind of guy and the hard-nosed, hard-driving NFL winner of a coach with a tongue like a whip and the temperament of a tyrant, Bill Parcells has already made football history. And he's done it three times.

Taking the reins of the desperately failing New York Giants in 1983, Parcells not only turned the team around but took it to the Super Bowl -- twice (in 1986 and 1990), and twice the Giants won. Then, with the downtrodden New England Patriots he again managed to work some of the same gridiron magic by propelling them to the Super Bowl in his fourth season at the helm. Returning to New York in 1997, this time to rally the Jets, he faced perhaps his greatest coaching challenge yet, but in two seasons the team with a lamentable 1-15 record had won a division title at 12-4 and missed the Super Bowl by only a game.

While this no-holds-barred biography of Parcells examines and assesses the career of this consummate coach, it also explores the force that defines the public personality and drives the private man. Call that force ambition, a dream, bulldog spirit, or perfection

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Bill Parcells provides a link between the hard-driving, acid-tongued football coaches of the past (Vince Lombardi) and the corporate tacticians of the present (Denver's Mike Shanahan). The 41-year-old Parcells took over the New York Giants in 1983. By 1986, he'd won a Super Bowl, a feat he repeated in 1990. He subsequently revived a hapless New England franchise and then returned to New York, where he led the previously moribund Jets to within a game of the Super Bowl. He recently announced his retirement from coaching. Gutman, who's previously written biographies of Michael Jordan and Sammy Sosa, relies heavily on secondary sources and never--apparently--interviewed his subject. Nonetheless, this is an entertaining sports bio if only because the chameleonlike Parcells is such a fascinating subject. He pats one player on the back to motivate him but will challenge another's manhood in the most profane terms. Expect considerable demand among NFL fans for this thoroughly readable examination of a larger-than-life sports personality. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Don't expect any blockbuster revelations or unique insights about Bill Parcells in this biography of the famous football coach. In a straightforward fashion, sportswriter Gutman tracks Parcells's rise from a star New Jersey athlete to a head coach in the NFL, first with the New York Giants, then the New England Patriots and finally the New York Jets. Gutman also recounts Parcells's various college coaching stops before he cracked the professional coaching ranks as an assistant with the Giants in 1981. Gutman's argument that Parcells's success as a coachÄhe brought two different teams to the Super Bowl and a third to a championship gameÄwas due to his highly competitive nature, his motivational ability and willingness to adjust his coaching philosophy to meet the capabilities of his players, has been made before. Also rehashed is Gutman's observation that Parcells's high school coach Mickey Corcoran was the most influential person in his life. Gutman (no relation to Jets president Steve Gutman) is a capable writer who delivers an accurate overview of the coach's life. If he does not provide much new material, he still gives fans of Parcells's teams a pleasant ride down memory lane, especially Giants fans who have been waiting to return to the Super Bowl since the 1990 departure of the Big Tuna. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Above all, an NFL coach must know how to survive. Parcells is one of those survivors, with an uncanny ability to build and nurture championship teams. He has been referred to as a miracle man in helping three franchises (the Giants, the Patriots, and the Jets) climb from the depths of despair. Two of these teams reached the summit of the game, the Super Bowl. Parcells's record of 149 wins, 106 losses, and one tie is impressive. Sportswriter Gutman has written numerous books on sport celebrities. His current biography is a good read about a hard-nosed, uncompromising man with a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality: charming at one moment and belligerent the next. Regardless, the coach earned the respect of his peers and players. An engaging story describing the motivation that drove Parcells to become one of the most successful coaches in pro football; buy where demand warrants. (Index and photos not seen.)DLarry R. Little, Penticton P.L., BC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.