Tim Coughlin had just finished walking down 60 floors of Two World Trade on September 11, 2001 when he took a phone call from his father Tom.
“I know my father. I know the inflection in his voice,” Tim Coughlin told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “I know when he’s dead serious, which is 92 percent of the time. His message was, ‘Do what you have to do to get away from that building as soon as possible.’
“It was really helpful to have my dad on the phone. To be able to talk with him, as it was all happening, it was the greatest sense of calm.”
Some of you may already be familiar with Tom Coughlin’s connection to the day. Even if that’s the case, we highly recommend reading Silver’s article which shed new light on a story I vaguely knew before.
The details are harrowing, especially when a security guard told Tim and others on the 44th floor to stay in the building because it was safe. Thankfully, Tim didn’t listen. The second tower was hit five minutes later.
The events of that day has helped to inform Tom Coughlin’s decade since. Coughlin gives back as much as any coach in the league, but doesn’t seek attention for it.
“He makes sure the police officers and the firefighters know how much they mean to him, how much he appreciates our service people,” Tim Coughlin said.
That appreciation will surely hit close to home Sunday when Coughlin remembers that day a decade ago, and thinks how close he was to losing his son.