When Tom Coughlin announced that he was stepping down as Giants coach in January, the 69-year-old released a statement implying that the move was his decision.

"I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach," Coughlin said at the time. "I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization."

Although it was pretty clear at the time that Coughlin had been forced out, no one would actually say it, until now.

During an interview with Fox Sports Radio on Tuesday, Coughlin said that he was "hurt" by the team's decision to get rid of him, which means that it was definitely the team's decision and not his.

"Hey, do I agree with the move? Of course not. I don't. It hurts, it hurts," Coughlin told the Jay Mohr Show. "'Former' is not a good word. I don't like the word. But, nevertheless, that's the way it is."

The former Giants coach also cleared up something else: Coughlin says he didn't purposely try to snub Giants co-owner John Mara when he walked out of his news conference on Jan. 5.

After the news conference was over, Mara attempted a quick handshake, but it didn't happen because Coughlin flew right by him.

"I did not snub Mr. Mara if that's what you are insinuating," Coughlin said, after Mohr asked him why he avoided Mara. "That's the way I leave the press conferences. Why should I hang around to answer one more less-than-glamorous question?"

Even if Coughlin didn't snub Mara, the two still seem to have a contentious relationship. The Giants co-owner tried to smooth things over by offering Coughlin a front office job with the team, but the ex-coach turned that down.

Coughlin's now free to coach wherever he wants, and it wouldn't be a complete shock to see him coaching in the NFL in 2017.

Tom Coughlin didn't like how his time with the Giants ended. (USATSI)
Tom Coughlin says he didn't like how his time with the Giants ended. (USATSI)