Former Patriots head coach Bill Parcells (1993-96) is among seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2013 Class. The announcement was made Saturday night in New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XLVII.
Parcells joins guard/tackle Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, defensive tackle Curley Culp, tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Dave Robinson, and defensive tackle Warren Sapp in football's most prestigious fraternity.
The 71-year-old Parcells is the only coach ever to lead four different NFL teams to the playoffs. During his illustrious NFL career, which lasted (on and off, with stints in television) from 1979 to 2010, he won 183 games, including two Super Bowls, both with the New York Giants. He also guided the Patriots to their second Super Bowl appearance in 1996, a loss to Green Bay in New Orleans.
With the hiring of Parcells in '93, the Patriots immediately saw their fortunes turn around for the better. Ticket sales spiked to sell-out levels, and the team reaped the benefits on the field as well, with the drafting of QB Drew Bledsoe with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. New England went to the playoffs in Parcells' second season, then the Super Bowl in his fourth and final in Foxborough.
Fans may forever remember Parcells, however, for his unceremonious departure from the club following that Super Bowl, when he jumped to the New York Jets to become their head coach. He was seeking more control over football decisions, leading to a falling out with owner Robert Kraft.
In his farewell press conference, Parcells famously said, "They want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. Okay?"
After Parcells' Hall of Fame announcement was made, Kraft issued the following statement:
"Congratulations to Coach Parcells on his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is well deserved. As a Patriots fan, I will always appreciate the credibility he brought to our franchise as a two-time Super Bowl champion. We had never had a head coach with those credentials. I am very happy for Bill and look forward to his enshrinement ceremonies."
Head coach Bill Belichick, a one-time Parcells assistant, followed with a statement of his own:
"Bill Parcells has been thought of as one of the all-time greats for a long time, so it is with great pride that we can officially refer to him as a Hall of Famer. He deserves all the recognition he is getting and for his career to be celebrated in Canton forever."
This marks the second straight year that a former Patriot has been chosen for the Hall of Fame. Running back Curtis Martin (1995-97) was so honored in 2012.
So, what will you remember most about Parcells' time in New England? Let us know with your comments below.