If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing now?
Kevin Coyle: “That’s a good question. I kind of knew I wanted to coach back when I was in high school, so it’s kind of been my passion and my dream forever. But I think I’d be working with kids. When I was in college I had some jobs working at a group home back on Staten Island working with kids, and I enjoyed that. It would probably be teaching or some kind of social work.”
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Coyle: “Just working with the players every day, seeing the players develop and creating the relationships. To me it’s a lot more than just the X’s and O’s. It’s bonding with the players and trying to provide them leadership that’s going to help them become better football players and hopefully better people. And then on top of that the weekly challenges, the strategy, the game planning, and the putting the process together and then on game day having the opportunity to make it all come together. I love the fact that you experience such highs and lows in this business, but it’s unlike most other businesses. In competitive sports you live from week to week and it’s a great challenge and a great opportunity as well, and that’s really exciting to me.”
What were your favorite team and player growing up?
Coyle: “I grew up in New York, so as a young kid the Giants were always my favorite team. My dad was a big Giants fan. I knew all of the Giants back in the day. Frank Gifford was a star back in those days and Y.A. Tittle was the quarterback back in the early days. I played as a youngster in the Pee Wee leagues. I was 7 and I always remember that there was a guy that played for the Giants by the name of Jim Katcavage who was a defensive end. I played defensive end as a 7-year-old and he called me Little Kat. He gave me that nickname and I thought that was the coolest thing, so I always followed what Jim Katcavage did because of the coach calling me that name.”
Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
Coyle: “It was my high school coach, Coach Dennis Barrett at Monsignor Farrell High School back in Staten Island. I’ve been around some phenomenal coaches over the years, great teachers and great coaches. Coach Barrett taught me how to work to achieve goals. He built a great sense of pride in our team over the years and just that we were going to do everything we could do to become the best that we could be. He taught me a lot of life lessons that way. We didn’t lose many games back then but he told us, ‘Never accept defeat, but you have to learn how to live with it.’ To this day when we lose I never accept the fact that that’s got to happen, but you’ve got to learn from it, you’ve got to go on and you’ve got to figure out how to not let it happen again. That was something that I’ll never forget, when we lost a game in high school and we had a 33-game winning streak going. So I think that’s been a part of my coaching ever since then.”
How much more comfortable were you as a defensive coordinator in your second season?
Coyle: “I think there was a comfort level of knowing your players and them knowing you, how you approach things in the meetings. We like to have a good time too, we have fun, we have laughs in the meetings, but the players also realize when it’s time to buckle down and get ready to go and prepare, we are as serious as anybody out there."