ESPN.com is counting down the 20 greatest coaches in NFL history, and a familiar face appears on the list at No. 11: former Patriots head coach Bill Parcells.
Parcells held the post for four seasons (1993-1996) and led the Patriots to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history (Super Bowl XXXI). He finished his tenure with an even 34-34 record, reaching the playoffs on two occasions and capturing the AFC East crown in 1996. Parcells is credited with building the franchise back up, as the season prior to his arrival the Patriots finished with the worst record in football, landing them the top draft choice in 1993. That turned into quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who rose to a Pro Bowl level during his time as a Patriot.
Parcells' penchant for building franchises from the ground up (he did the same in New York with the Jets and Giants, as well as in Dallas and Miami) makes him one of the great football architects in the history of the game. He was steadfast in his belief that the head coach should have some level of input into personnel decision-making, which was captured in a statement after his left the Patriots to take the Jets job: "They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries," he said.
To read more about Parcells' legacy, which includes an incredible coaching tree (which Bill Belichick stems from), click HERE.