EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With no tears and no plans, Bill Parcells walked away from his dream job as coach of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants with practically no explanation -- except to say he could no longer give his all to the job.
"I just felt it was time," Parcells said yesterday. He repeated that phrase eight times in a half-hour news conference in Giants Stadium to announce his departure and his replacement by Giants assistant Ray Handley.
At 49, Parcells had one year left on a contract paying about $800,000.
Handley, 46, had been promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator within the last month to keep him from pursuing a desire to enter law school.
"It was the outstanding job I did as offensive coordinator the last three weeks that led me to this," Handley joked.
Parcells denied he was burned out after two years as defensive coordinator and eight years as head coach. His record of 85-52-1 included Super Bowl victories after the 1986 and 1990 seasons.
"I've given what I had for 10 years to protect and construct and help this franchise grow and achieve," Parcells said. "I look forward to other things, even though I don't know what they are.
"I'm not leaving here with any other intention except taking some time thinking what I'm going to do, catching some fish, maybe."
Denying a rumor he was about to join NBC as an analyst, Parcells did not rule out a comeback to coaching. In 1979, he took a year off after serving as head coach for a year at Air Force. But after spending the time in private business, he returned to the NFL, first with New England.
"Ten years ago, I came here with a dream that any guy who grew up loving the Giants would have -- a hope I could be part of the Giants family, the tradition, and maybe help in some small way construct and rebuild what I think is the flagship franchise of the NFL," he said.
Parcells knocked down nearly all speculation on why he made his decision, including health.
"I have a clean bill of health. I feel great. It had absolutely nothing to do with anything."