Bill Arnsparger had success everywhere he went in his career - except with the Giants. He coached the Giants for 2 1/2 seasons - from 1974 to 1976, arguably the roughest stretch in the franchise's history. The Giants played home games in three different stadiums during those three seasons.
Friday's question: Allie Sherman ascended to head coach in 1961 and went 33-8 in his first three regular seasons (0-3 in playoff games). From 1964-68 his team stumbled, going 24-33 which led to his unceremonious dismissal. He at least had some success as the head coach….there were a few who had little – or no – success.
Which Giant head coach never had a winning or .500 season?
Fan Poll Results:
Ray Handley - 58%
Bill Arnsparger - 25%
Alex Webster - 9%
Ray Perkins 8%
The answer: Bill Arnsparger, who went 2-12 in 1974, 5-9 in 1975 and was replaced by John McVay in 1976 after going 0-7 in 1976. McVay also never had a winning season, going 3-4 in '76, 5-9 in '77 and 6-10 in '78. He was fired after the season, which included the embarrassing "fumble" fiasco vs the Eagles and the notorious ticket burning sessions by angry fans.
Webster took over for the maligned Sherman in 1969 and had two winning seasons: 1970 (9-5) and 1972 (8-6). He retired after the 1973 season, leading the to hiring of Arnsparger.
Arnsparger was Don Shula's DC in Miami for their three Super Bowl teams in the early 70's and the architect of the Dolphins' "No-Name Defense". His post-Giants career is as impressive as his prior service. He was rehired by Shula just two days after being fired by the Giants in 1976.
Arnsparger would spend the next six seasons on Shula's staff, returning to the Super Bowl after the 1982 season. He would move on to become the head coach at LSU, the AD at Florida and the DC for the San Diego Chargers, where he would find himself in the Super Bowl one more time.
Perkins was hired after Pete Rozelle stepped in and "suggested" the Giants hire George Young to run the franchise to assist the feuding Mara family. Perkins coached the team for four seasons, three of them losing ones, but the one winning season was 1981, the first year the team made the post season in 18 years. It was also the first year of Lawrence Taylor's career.
Perkins left the team after the strike-shortened 1982 season to take the reins at Alabama (his alma mater) following the legendary Bear Bryant's retirement.
Handley only coached the Giants for two seasons: 1991 when the team went 8-8 and then got dismissed after a 6-10 finish in 1992. We won't expound on the circumstances of his departure, but his appointment remains a sticking point for Giant fans. A "retiring" Bill Parcells hand-picked Handley to replace him and Young went along, leaving the popular choice (Bill Belichick) at the curb and changing Giants' history forever.
Today's question: the Giants have had some great running backs in their history, but their QBs have never been known to leave the pocket by design.