"Parcells: A Football Life"

No book about an NFL coach can claim to be authoritative without the previous contributions of authors and journalists. Considering the scope of this project, I mined 56 books: Michael MacCambridge’s America’s Game and David Harris’s The League offered the most breadth on NFL history. Parcells’s multiple first-person books laid a foundation for his life through 1999. Bill Gutman’s Parcells painted the most comprehensive portrayal of Bill up until his Jets tenure, although being an unauthorized biography, it lacked his voice. Jerry Izenberg’s No Medals For Trying revealed the inner-workings of Parcells’s Giants during a one-week period in November, 1989. And Gerald Ezkenazi’s Gang Green gave an informative take on Jets history, including the Parcells era. Two books were indispensable in helping explain the complicated relationship between Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells: David Halberstam’s Education of a Coach and Michael Holley’s Patriot Reign, which also delved into Big Bill’s divorce from New England’s owner Robert Kraft. In this Parcells bibliography, the titles of the 12 books I found the most useful are embedded with links to their Amazon pages.


Adler, Brad. Coaching Matters: Leadership and Tactics of the NFL’s Ten Greatest Coaches. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2003.

Aron, Jaime. Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: MVP Books, 2010.

Baker, Jim and Bernard M. Corbett. The Most Memorable Games in Giants History: The Oral History Of a Legendary Team. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2010.

Bendetson, William and Leonard Marshall. When the Cheering Stops: Bill Parcells, the 1990 New York Giants, and the Price of Greatness. Chicago: Triumph, 2010.

Bruschi, Tedy with Michael Holley. Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery & My Return to the NFL. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007.

Callahan, Tom. The GM: the Inside Story of a Dream Job and the Nightmares that Go with It. New York: Crown, 2007.

Cannizzaro, Mark. Tales From the Jets Sideline. New York: Sports Publishing, 2004.

Carpenter, Jerry and Steve DiMeglio. Super Giants: Bill Parcells. Minneapolis, MN: Abdo & Daughters,  1988.

Carson, Harry. Captain for Life: My Story as a Hall of Fame Linebacker. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Cassidy, Catherine. Hasbrouck Heights: Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

Crump, J. Irving. Oradell: Biography of a Borough. Oradell, NJ: Borough of Oradell, 1969.

Daly, Dan. The National Forgotten League: Entertaining Stories and Observations from Pro Football’s First Fifty Years. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2012.

Davis, Jefferson. Talkin’ Tuna: The Wit and Wisdom of Coach Bill Parcells. Toronto, Ontario: EWC Press, 1999.

Delsohn, Steve and Mark Heisler. Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Dent, Jim. King of the Cowboys: The Life and Times of Jerry Jones. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media, 1995.

DeVito, Carlo. Parcells: A Biography. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2011.

_____. Wellington: The Maras, the Giants and the City of New York. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2006.

Didinger, Ray and Robert Lyons. The Eagles Encyclopedia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005.

Eskenazi, Gerald. Gang Green: An Irreverent Look Behind the Scenes at Thirty-Eight (Well, Thirty-Seven Seasons) of New York Jets Football Futility. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

_____. There Were Giants in Those Days: The New York Giants Dynasty 1954 to 1963. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1976.

Freedman, Lew. New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: MVP Books, 2009.

Gutman, Bill. Parcells: A Biography. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2000.

Halberstam, David. The Education of a Coach. New York: Hyperion, 2005.

Harris, David. The League: The Rise and Decline of the NFL. New York: Bantam, 1986.

_____. The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty. New York: Random House, 2008.

Holley, Michael. Patriot Reign: Bill Belichick, the Coaches, and the Players Who Built a Champion. New York: It Books, 2004.

Izenberg, Jerry. No Medals for Trying: A Week in the Life of a Pro Football Team. New York: Ivy Books, 1990.

Klemash, Christian. How To Succeed in the Game of Life: 34 Interviews with the World’s Greatest Coaches. Kansas City, MO: Andrew McMeel Publishing, 2006.

Knight, Bob with Bob Hammel. Knight: My Story. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.

Lavin, James. Management Secrets of the New England Patriots: From “Patsies” to Two-Time Super Bowl Champs. Stamford, CT: Pointer Press, 2005.

Lazarus, Adam. Super Bowl Monday: From the Persian Gulf to the Shores of West Florida.The New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills, and Super Bowl XXV. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2011.

Lewis, Michael. The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.

MacCambridge, Michael. America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. New York: Random House, 2004.

Maraniss, David. When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Marshall, Leonard and Dave Klein. Leonard Marshall: The End of the Line. New York: Dutton Adult, 1987.

Maske, Mark. War Without Death: A Year of Extreme Competition In Pro Football’s NFC East. New York: Penguin Press, 2007.

McConkey, Phil, and Phil Simms with Dick Schaap. Simms to McConkey: Blood, Sweat and Gatorade. New York: Crown, 1987.

McGovern, Robert. All American: Why I Believe in Football, God and the War in Iraq. New York: William Morrow, 2007.

Mellen, Joan. Bobby Knight: His Own Man. New York: Donald I. Fine, 1988.

Myers, Gary. Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches. New York: Crown, 2012.

Jerry Oppenheimer. Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013.

Paolantonio, Sal. How Football Explain America. Chicago: Triumph, 2008.

Parcells, Bill with Jeff Coplon. Finding A Way: The Principles of Leadership, Teamwork, and Motivation. New York: Doubleday, 1995.

Parcells, Bill with Mike Lupica. Parcells: Autobiography of the Biggest Giant of Them All. New York: Bonus Books, 1987.

Parcells, Bill with Will McDonough. The Final Season: My Last Year as Head Coach in the NFL. New York: William Morrow, 2000.

Payton, Sean with Ellis Henican. Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life. New York: New American Library, 2010.

Pope, Edwin. Football’s Greatest Coaches: And the Story of the Players and Plays That Made Them Famous. Atlanta: Tupper and Love, 1955.

Price, Christopher. The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Super Power. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007.

Ribowsky, Mark. Slick: The Silver & Black Life of Al Davis. New York: Macmillan, 1991.

Simms, Phil with Vic Carucci. Sunday Morning Quarterback: Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths, and Mayhem of Football. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.

Shropshire, Mike. When the Tuna Went Down to Texas: How Bill Parcells Led the Cowboys to the Promised Land. New York: William Morrow, 2004.

Taylor, Lawrence. Taylor. New York: Rugged Land, 2006.

Taylor, Lawrence and David Falkner. LT: Living on the Edge. New York: Times Books, 1987.

Taylor Lawrence with Steve Serby. LT: Over the Edge, Tackling Quarterbacks, Drugs and a World Beyond Football. New York: Harper, 2003.

Weis, Charlie and Vic Carucci. No Excuses: One Man’s Incredible Rise Through the NFL to Head Coach Of Notre Dame. New York: It Books, 2006.

Zipay, Steve. “Then Bavaro Said to Simms...”. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2009.