East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride announced his retirement on Thursday after seven seasons at the post and almost 40 years in the game of football.
"It's hard to say, 'It's time,'" Gilbride admitted. "To finally do it, it's a very unnatural feeling. I've been telling my wife for years I was going to do it. She moved back to Rhode Island, so I've been by myself in the hotel for three or four years. I knew this was it and I was going to do it. I finally pulled the trigger. But it's difficult."
Gilbride, who served as the Giants quarterbacks coach for the three seasons prior to his ascension to offensive coordinator in January of 2007, helped Eli Manning lead Big Blue to five postseason appearances, three NFC East championships and a pair of Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Kevin," Manning said. "I'm really sad to see him retire. He has been with me from day one as my quarterbacks coach and then my coordinator. He really taught me everything I needed to learn to become an NFL quarterback. We've had so much success together, obviously winning our two Super Bowls. His offenses have had great success in this league for many, many years. He's been a great coach and great friend over these 10 years, and I'm definitely going miss him on the field and in the meeting rooms."
The 62-year-old Gilbride also served as the offensive coordinator for Giants head coach Tom Coughlin when they were together in Jacksonville in 1995-96.
A Connecticut native, Gilbride began his long and winding road in the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Idaho State in 1974 and '75. From there, he went to Tufts, American International and alma mater Southern Connecticut State before a stint in the CFL with Ottawa from 1985-86. He then went back to the college ranks with East Carolina, then into the pros with the Houston Oilers, Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and finally the Giants.
"Kevin is an outstanding coach who made enormous contributions to this franchise," said Giants president and CEO John Mara. "He helped us win a lot of games over the past 10 years, including two Super Bowls. He will be remembered as one of the best coaches to ever represent the New York Giants."