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Kevin Gilbride, New York Giants (August 18, 2013)

Thank You Kevin Gilbride! – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride Retires: The New York Giants announced on Thursday that Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride is retiring from football. Gilbride has been the Giants’ offensive coordinator since 2007. Before that, he served as the team’s quarterback coach from 2004-2006.

“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.”

“I have great respect for Kevin and Debbie and their family, so it’s not an easy thing to part ways,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Kevin is a professional. He’s been an exceptional football coach for the New York Giants. He helped win two Super Bowl championships. Kevin was the play-caller in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. He has done a great service to the franchise.”

“Kevin is an outstanding coach who made enormous contributions to this franchise,” said team President and CEO John Mara. “He helped us win a lot of games over the past 10 years, including two Super Bowls. He will be remembered as one of the best coaches to ever represent the New York Giants.”

“Since Tom elevated Kevin to the role of offensive coordinator, we have added two more Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said. “For that, and Kevin’s tremendous commitment and dedication to his craft and this organization, we will always be grateful.”

“Kevin has been a special person around here for a long time and a very good football coach,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “We are grateful for his years of service with us, especially during the two championship seasons. I wish only the best for him and his family moving forward.”

Gilbride has worked with QB Eli Manning since he was drafted in 2004.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Kevin,” Manning said. “I’m really sad to see him retire. He has been with me from day one as my quarterbacks coach and then my coordinator. He really taught me everything I needed to learn to become an NFL quarterback. We’ve had so much success together, obviously winning our two Super Bowls. His offenses have had great success in this league for many, many years. He’s been a great coach and great friend over these 10 years, and I’m definitely going miss him on the field and in the meeting rooms.”

The 2013 season was Gilbride’s 39th in coaching, 24th in the National Football League, and 10th with the Giants.

“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.”

Three of the Giants’ top five scoring teams in their history came under Gilbride: 2012 (429 points), 2008 (427), and 2009 (402). In 2011, the Giants gained a franchise-record 6,161 yards, breaking the mark of 6,085 set in 2010. Those are the only 6,000-yard seasons in Giants history.

With the demise of the offensive line and skill position players, the Giants’ offense struggled in 2013, finishing 28th in total yards.

“It is difficult to walk away after a season like that, no question,” Gilbride said. “You made the adjustments and you continue to modify and adapt and do the things you had to do to give your guys a chance. But all of the success we’ve had offensively through the last five or six years, we just weren’t able to get it done this year with all of the things that took place. But the thing we never did, we never used it as an excuse or explanation. We just continued to battle through and to win seven of our last 10 the way we did, I was very proud of our coaches and players.”

“What I’ll miss most of all are the relationships,” Gilbride said, “certainly starting with Tom and all that he means to us, but also the other coaches and the players. When you’re with them in that environment, the crucible of competition, it’s hard not to forge some very, very strong bonds. It will be very difficult to say goodbye to those guys. I will miss them terribly. I’ll miss everybody in the organization.”

Articles on Former Giants’ Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride:

Article on Kevin Gilbride’s Possible Replacement: Kevin Gilbride’s potential replacements as Giants offensive coordinator by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

WR Hakeem Nicks on ESPN Radio: The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Hakeem Nicks is available at ESPN.com.

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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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