WASHINGTON (AP) -Steve Spagnuolo pulled out of the running for the Washington Redskins coaching job Thursday, citing his desire to remain with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
``His heart is in New York City,'' Spagnuolo's agent, Bob Lamonte, told The Associated Press. ``He loves the ownership. He loves the players. He feels he has to stay there.''
With the Giants defensive coordinator crossed off the list, Ron Meeks, Jim Fassel and Steve Mariucci were among those who remained in contention to replace Joe Gibbs, who resigned Jan. 8. However, given the secretive nature of the process, the new coach could be a yet-to-be revealed candidate who has interviewed with owner Dan Snyder during the four weeks of the coaching search.
Press. A decision could be imminent, or the owner might instead arrange follow-up interviews with one or more candidates, the person said. The owner has said he hopes to have a coach in place by the end of the week.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the club has preferred to keep the details of its search private.
Spagnuolo left the Washington area Wednesday night after more than 16 hours of talks over two days at Snyder's house. Spagnuolo called Snyder on Thursday morning to withdraw.
The person familiar with the Redskins' process said Spagnuolo and the team mutually agreed the coach is probably a year or two away from being prepared to become a head coach.
``I was happy to have the opportunity to explore that situation,'' Spagnuolo said in a statement released by the Giants. ``But I am equally happy to be staying in New York and look forward to continued success with the Giants.''
Lamonte said he expects Spagnuolo to get a contract extension from the Giants.
``Steve is a hard worker who has quickly earned the respect of the players and coaches,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ``And he has earned the consideration he is being given. Needless to say, I am happy that he will be remaining here.''
Spagnuolo became a hot coaching commodity during the Giants' championship run, even though he had been a coordinator for only one season. His defense stifled the New England Patriots in the 17-14 Super Bowl victory.
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AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan in Newark, N.J., contributed to this report.

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