By Matthew Feimer
Kevin Gilbride has done it all in his coaching career. He ran a great offense with the Houston Oilers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the head coach with the Chargers for two disastrous years. He spent two years in the CFL with the Ottawa Roughriders with one playoff appearance. Many years in college running the defense at Tufts, American International, Idaho State and Southern Connecticut U. But it was his time with the New York Giants as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach that got him his Super Bowl rings with Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin.
After his success in New York you would think he would’ve been offered another head coaching job. He retired in 2013 and went to live the snowbird life, splitting his time in Rhode Island and Florida. He enjoyed his time with his family, friends, and grand kids. He spent much time fishing and watching football himself. He obviously missed coaching but not the long hours that comes with the job and not seeing his family for months at a time.
So, when the XFL were hiring he had the opportunity to build a team from the ground up and put his identity on a team. He got a second chance to be the head coach again without the long grueling hours that comes with the NFL and NCAA. He was also close enough to Rhode Island where his family would be close by. The season is only 10 games and two rounds of playoffs. And the offseason is not as demanding either. After six years of retirement it is good to see Kevin Gilbride again and at age 68, he looks happy to be doing what he loves the most. It’s a big win for the XFL to have men like Bob Stoops, Gilbride, and June Jones to give the new league credibility.
So now he is on duty as the top cop in Guardian nation. He not only has the chance to mold a team but unite Jets and Giants fans who are hungry for winning football. I can tell you this Giant fan is glad he came back to New York. I’m hoping he can deliver a championship for the Guardians. He was very friendly and engaging in the three events the Guardians had with their fans. His players are buying into what he is coaching. After last Sundays big win against the Tampa Bay Vipers the leagues preseason favorite to win it all, they are believing they can do big things and are having fun doing it.
This week is their first road game against their closest rival the DC Defenders. Let’s see how they handle being an underdog on the road in what appears to be the leagues loudest stadium. It seems Gilbride and Matt McGloin are up to the challenge. Many similarities between them and the relationship Gilbride had with Eli Manning, and McGloin has many quality traits that he shares with Eli to handle this offense and New York. I will be on the road this Saturday in DC to watch and cover the game. I have not looked forward to going on a road game in years.