EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ben McAdoo needed two seasons to fix the New York Giants offense.
His job now is to get the franchise back on track.
The Giants confirmed on Thursday that the 38-year-old McAdoo has been hired to replace Tom Coughlin, who stepped down a little more than a week ago after 12 seasons.
McAdoo faces a big challenge. After winning their second Super Bowl under Coughlin, the Giants have missed the playoffs the past four seasons. They have posted losing records the past three seasons, going 6-10 the past two.
“We were all impressed with his energy, his enthusiasm, his vision and his desire,” Giants president and co-owner John Mara said.
“Ben has been preparing for this opportunity since he started coaching, and he has earned his stripes every step of the way. Some have suggested he may not be ready, and as I said last week, we want a coach who feels like he has something to prove.”
McAdoo, who has been the Giants offensive coordinator the past two seasons, will be introduced at a news conference on Friday morning.
“I have been preparing for this moment my entire professional life, and without the guidance and support of many people, I would not be here right now,” McAdoo said.
McAdoo’s offense has been one of the few bright spots for the team the past two years.
Under his leadership, Eli Manning threw 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
The Giants’ 420 points this past season was the fifth-highest total in franchise history, and their 5,952 net yards was the third-highest total. They set franchise records for pass attempts (623), completions (392), and their 36 touchdown passes were the second-highest total in Giants’ history.
“I’m excited for the Giants organization and for the team. I think Coach McAdoo is a great coach, a great teacher, and will be a great leader of this team,” said Manning, who voiced his support for McAdoo after the season.
“I’m excited to continue to work with him and grow within this offense, and get this organization back where it needs to be.”
McAdoo interviewed with Mara and general manager Jerry Reese a week ago Tuesday. They met again Wednesday, when he also spoke with team chairman Steve Tisch and treasurer Jonathan Tisch.
Mara and Reese interviewed five other candidates before choosing McAdoo, the NFL’s second-youngest coach. The Dolphins’ Adam Gase is 37.
“When I spoke to Ben with my brother Jon, we were both impressed with his understanding of what it means to lead, his thoughts on how to build and establish a sense of team and how to motivate the individual and the group,” Steve Tisch said.
McAdoo joined the NFL in 2004 as an offensive quality control assistant with the New Orleans Saints, spent a year with the 49ers the following year and then joined the Green Bay Packers for the next eight seasons, working with the tight ends and the final two years as Aaron Rodgers’ quarterback coach.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy remembers meeting McAdoo at an NFL combine in Indianapolis when McAdoo was a lower-level coach.
“I was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints and he had called me on the phone, was seeking an opportunity just to talk football,” McCarthy said.
“We talked on the phone that evening and then the next day at lunch, when I was coming back from the workouts at the combine, Ben was sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for me. He drove all night just for an opportunity to sit down and talk football.”
The Giants hired McAdoo in 2014 to replace Kevin Gilbride. His version of the West Coast offense — and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. — has helped revive the offense.
McAdoo, who has shown a willingness to gamble on offense in his two seasons with the Giants, also impressed the Philadelphia Eagles when he interviewed for their coaching vacancy.
It is not clear whether defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who also interviewed for the head coaching job, will return. However, there have been indications that he will be back.
There are also reports that former Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who worked with McAdoo in Green Bay, will be hired in some capacity.
Linebacker coach Jim Herrmann has left the Giants to take a job with the Colts.
“Excited for Coach McAdoo,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said in a text to The Associated Press. “I figured him or Spags would have been a great pick. I’m sure his players and the fans are all excited.”
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