- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tom Coughlin has been trying to move forward during an incredibly difficult week by continuing to coach his team.
The New York Giants' coach lost his only brother on Monday when John Coughlin, 63, died. According to reports, the younger Coughlin suffered a head injury during a fall.
In his first comments about the loss of his brother, Coughlin told Giants.com about the struggle of this week and trying to be there for his family and his team.
"It’s an emotional tug of war is probably the best way to say it," he told the team website. "You drift back and forth between your family and your brother and even my wife [Judy] was very close to John and is close to all my sisters. So you’re not there for anybody, to be honest with you. But that’s understood, they all understand that."
John Coughlin reportedly suffered the injury on Sunday evening.
"Monday was a day in which the initial shock for me was at about five in the morning, going over to the hospital and seeing John and then listening to the doctors and their options and then going back in the afternoon and having my sisters there," Coughlin said. "We all were in there together. Then the doctors came by, the neurosurgeons, and they went further with the explanation and then we went back Monday night to say goodbye."
All the while, Coughlin has tried to go about coaching his team like he normally would. He hasn't missed any team obligations, with the visitation scheduled for next Monday and funeral mass on Tuesday morning at St. Mary’s Church in Waterloo, N.Y.
"It was that [time at the hospital], and then you’re trying to get as much information as you can about the next opponent and you’re trying to go ahead and take care of things that you do," Coughlin said of this past Monday. "My parents are gone, I’m the oldest, so you understand where the responsibility goes.
"So I do that and do the best I can here with the guys," he continued. "Fortunately, I have a veteran staff that’s been with me for a long time and they were told very early in the week what was going on and they’ve gone ahead and forged out and done the best they can with it.”
The Coughlin family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John be made to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund charity.