Ben McAdoo has been named the New York Giants coach.
The Giants confirmed the hiring on Thursday, a little more than a week after Tom Coughlin stepped down after 12 seasons.
The 38-year-old McAdoo has been the Giants offensive coordinator the past two seasons. He will formally be introduced at a news conference on Friday morning.
McAdoo interviewed with team president John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese a week ago Tuesday. They met again Wednesday, when he also spoke with team chairman Steve Tisch and treasurer Jonathan Tisch.
Mara and Reese interviewed five other candidates before choosing McAdoo, who is now the NFL’s second youngest coach.
“We were all impressed with his energy, his enthusiasm, his vision and his desire,” Mara said. “Ben has been preparing for this opportunity since he started coaching, and he has earned his stripes every step of the way. Some have suggested he may not be ready, and as I said last week, we want a coach who feels like he has something to prove.”
The Giants have something to prove. They have missed the playoffs the past four seasons, and posted losing records the past three seasons, going 6-10 the past two years.
McAdoo’s offense has been one of the few bright spots for the team.
Under his leadership, Eli Manning threw 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions the past two seasons. He had 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions in 2013.
“I have been preparing for this moment my entire professional life, and without the guidance and support of many people, I would not be here right now,” McAdoo said.
The Giants’ 420 points was the fifth-highest total in franchise history, and their 5,952 net yards was the third-highest total. They set franchise records for pass attempts (623), completions (392), and their 36 touchdown passes were the second-highest total in Giants’ history.
“I’m excited for the Giants organization and for the team. I think Coach McAdoo is a great coach, a great teacher, and will be a great leader of this team,” said Manning, who voiced his support for McAdoo after the season. “I’m excited to continue to work with him and grow within this offense, and get this organization back where it needs to be.”
McAdoo joined the NFL in 2004 as an offensive quality control assistant with the New Orleans Saints, spent a year with the 49ers the following year and then joined the Green Bay Packers for the next eight seasons, working with the tight ends and the final two years as Aaron Rodgers’ quarterback coach.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy remembers meeting McAdoo at an NFL combine in Indianapolis when McAdoo was a lower-level coach.
“I was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints and he had called me on the phone, was seeking an opportunity just to talk football,” McCarthy said. “We talked on the phone that evening and then the next day at lunch, when I was coming back from the workouts at the combine, Ben was sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for me. He drove all night just for an opportunity to sit down and talk football.”
The Giants hired McAdoo in 2014 to replace Kevin Gilbride. His version of the West Coast offense — and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. — has helped revive the offense.
Now he is being asked to revive a team that won two Super Bowls under Coughlin before falling on hard times.
McAdoo also impressed the Philadelphia Eagles when he interviewed for their coaching vacancy.
It is not clear whether defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who also interviewed for the head coaching job, will return.
McAdoo learned under Coughlin and has shown some of his mentor’s attitudes. He’s not afraid to gamble.
In the season opener against Dallas this past season, he went for the win, calling a pass play on third down in the red zone in the closing minutes.
A touchdown would have iced the game. Instead, Manning made a mistake throwing the ball away and that stopped the clock. New York kicked a field goal to take a six-point lead but the extra time allowed Dallas to come back and win the game.
That aggressive play calling, though, is part of McAdoo’s game. He isn’t afraid to put the game in the offense’s hands.
“Excited for Coach McAdoo,” cornerback Prince Amukama said in a text to The Associated Press. “I figured him or Spagz would have been a great pick. I’m sure his players and the fans are all excited.”
SOURCE: The Associated Press, Tom Canavan