New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini is a nominee for the 2006 Motorola Coach of the Year award, the NFL announced Friday. On Sunday, Mangini will lead the Green & White into Gillette Stadium for a Wild Card match-up with the Patriots. Mangini was named the Jets 14th full-time head coach on January 17, 2006 after spending the previous six seasons as an assistant coach with the Patriots.
"This game is personal in the sense that I'm proud of the way our team has performed," Mangini said this week. "I'm proud of the way our team has worked, and the progress we've made to create the opportunity that we have. That's what we're focused on. It's personal in the sense of the things that we're doing, not opponent-specific."
A year after finishing 4-12, Mangini guided the Jets to 10 regular season victories. It was the ninth-time the franchise has totaled at least 10 wins. The Jets earned the American Football Conference's fifth seed after closing '06 with a three-game win streak. They recorded a 6-2 record in the second half of the season to earn a playoff berth for the 12th time.