TAMPA BAY, Fla., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Bill Parcells said Friday night he had decided not to return to coaching, forcing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to restart their hiring process.
"I just think it was a case of my own inability to make a commitment that I know is necessary to be successful in the NFL," Parcells said on a Chicago radio show.
"I didn't want to go down there for one or two years, then not be able to follow through with what I know to be the type of effort that has to be in place in order to succeed in this competitive industry.
"I'm finished coaching and there aren't going to be any more rumors about me coaching. I just feel like I couldn't make a commitment to do it. You know, you just can't kid yourself and you gotta know that."
Parcells, 60, had been expected to replace Tony Dungy as coach of the Buccaneers, especially when New York Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum interviewed for Tampa Bay's general manager job during the week. Tannenbaum was Parcells' salary cap expert in New York from 1997-2000.
But the first indication that Parcells had decided against taking the Bucs job came when Tannenbaum announced Friday he would remain with the Jets.
Tampa Bay has been left in the embarrasing position of having dismissed one of the most respected coaches in the league and being stood up by a two-time Super Bowl champion.
There had been various reports before Dungy was fired that Parcells had already been lined up to replace him and that Parcells was taking the steps needed to assemble a staff.
But those efforts brought a warning in the form of a letter from Jeffrey Pash, the NFL's counsel, to Bucs management.
"We expressed our concern about possible violations of the tampering rules," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.
The New York Daily News reported that Jets owner Woody Johnson voiced concerns to the league about Parcells, who resigned as Jets director of football operations in 2000, making illegal contact with members of their organization.
According to the newspaper, a "few" teams lodged similar complaints, prompting the league to send a stern letter to Bucs general manager Rich McKay.
It is not the first time that Parcells has turned down the Bucs. After the 1991 season, one year removed from his second Super Bowl title with the New York Giants, Parcells was offered the Bucs' job by then-owner Hugh Culverhouse, but turned it down.
He later changed his mind and wanted the job, but Culverhouse publicly rejected Parcells and named Sam Wyche as coach.
The rumors of Parcells taking over the Bucs started as far back as last year's Super Bowl in Tampa. He was clearly the first choice of Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer to succeed Dungy, who was fired on Monday, two days after the Bucs suffered a 31-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round.
A Hall of Fame finalist for the second straight year, Parcells coached the Giants to two Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990 and also guided the New England Patriots to a trip to the Super Bowl in 1996. He directed the Jets to the AFC championship game in 1999.