Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

NFL PlayerCoach
Name=Bill Belichick

DateOfBirth=birth date and age|1952|4|16
Birthplace= Nashville, Tennessee
College=Wesleyan University
Position=Head Coach
Career Highlights=yes
Awards=2x AP NFL Coach of the Year (2003, 2007)
SuperBowls=2004 Super Bowl XXXIX
2003 Super Bowl XXXVIII
2001 Super Bowl XXXVI
Championships=2007 AFC Championship
2004 AFC Championship
2003 AFC Championship
2001 AFC Championship
coachingteams=Baltimore Colts
(Special Assistant)
Detroit Lions
(Assistant Special Teams Coach)
Detroit Lions
(Wide Receivers Coach)
(Tight Ends Coach)
Denver Broncos
(Assistant Special Teams Coach)
(Defensive Assistant)
New York Giants
(Special Teams Coach)
(Defensive Assistant)
New York Giants
(Linebackers Coach)
(Special Teams Coach)
New York Giants
(Defensive Coordinator)
Cleveland Browns
(Head Coach)
New England Patriots
(Assistant Head Coach)
(Secondary Coach)
New York Jets
(Assistant Head Coach)
(Defensive Backs Coach)
New England Patriots
(Head Coach)











William Stephen Belichick (born April 16, 1952 in Nashville, Tennessee) is the American football head coach for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. After spending his first 15 seasons in the league as an assistant coach, Belichick got his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns in 1991. Of his five seasons coaching Cleveland, only one featured a winning record, and Belichick did not serve as head coach again until 2000 with the Patriots. Since then, Belichick has coached the Patriots to four Super Bowls; three victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX and a loss in Super Bowl XLII. He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year twice, for the 2003 and 2007 seasons. During the 2007 season, the NFL penalized Belichick for his involvement in the illegal videotaping of opponents' defensive signals, referred to in the press as Spygate. During the same season, the Patriots went 16–0 in the regular season but failed to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go undefeated following their Super Bowl XLII loss to the New York Giants.

Early life

Belichick was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in Annapolis, where his father Steve Belichick, a former Detroit Lions player and ethnic Croat, was an assistant football coach at the United States Naval Academy. After graduating from Annapolis High School he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for a postgraduate year. Belichick subsequently attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he played center/tight end. In addition to being a member of the football team, he also played lacrosse and squash, serving as the captain of the lacrosse team during his senior season. He is a member of Chi Psi fraternity and graduated in 1975 with a degree in economics.

Coaching career

Early coaching positions

After graduating, he took a $25-per-week job as an assistant to Baltimore Colts head coach Ted Marchibroda in 1975. In 1976, Belichick joined the Detroit Lions as their assistant special teams coach before adding tight ends and wide receivers to his coaching duties in 1978. He then spent one year in 1978 with the Denver Broncos as their assistant special teams coach and defensive assistant. Belichick then began his 12-year stint with the New York Giants and head coach Ray Perkins in 1979 as a defensive assistant and special teams coach. He added linebackers coaching to his duties in 1980 and was named defensive coordinator in 1985 under head coach Bill Parcells, who had replaced Perkins in 1983. The Giants won Super Bowls following the 1986 and 1990 seasons. His defensive game plan from the New York Giants' 20-19 upset of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as is his defensive game plan from the Patriots' 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Cleveland Browns

From 1991 until 1995, Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. During his tenure in Cleveland he compiled a 36–44 record, leading the team to its most recent playoff game win in 1994. Based on his performance, many fans in Cleveland think of him as an uncommunicative, dictatorial and arrogant coach who made many questionable moves, including benching and then cutting much-beloved quarterback Bernie Kosar in 1993 in order to replace him with Vinny Testaverde, a move that sparked great controversy in the area. In Belichick's last season in Cleveland the Browns finished 5–11. In November that year Browns owner Art Modell announced he would move the team to Baltimore after the season. Belichick was fired early in February 1996. [cite web | url= | title=All Things Bill Belichick: 1990s Archive]

New England Patriots (1996)

After leaving Cleveland, Belichick served under Parcells again as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach with the Patriots for the 1996 season. The Patriots finished with an 11-5 record, won the AFC championship, but lost to the Green Bay Packers at Super Bowl XXXI.

New York Jets

Soon after Super Bowl XXXI, Belichick (and most of the Patriots assistant coaches) migrated with Parcells to the New York Jets. Belichick served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells stepped down as head coach in 1999, Belichick became the new Jets head coach. However, Belichick's introduction to the media the following day turned out to be a surprise resignation announcement. Before taking the podium, he scrawled a resignation note on a sheet of loose leaf paper that read, in its entirety, "I resign as HC of the NYJ." He then delivered a half-hour speech explaining his resignation to the assembled press corps. [cite web | url= | title=The 10 spot | publisher="" | author=Pete McEntegart | date=2006-07-28] Shortly afterward, he accepted an offer from the Patriots to become their new head coach, who had previously tried to hire him away from the Jets. Parcells and the Jets claimed that Belichick was still under contract, and demanded compensation from the Patriots. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed, and the Patriots gave the Jets a first-round draft pick in 2000 in exchange for the right to hire Belichick. [cite web | url= | title=How exactly will history judge Parcells? (Pt 3) | publisher="" | author=Bob George | date=2006-01-13]

New England Patriots

Bill Belichick was named New England Patriots head coach in 2000, succeeding Pete Carroll.

2000 season

The Patriots went 5-11 in the regular season and missed the playoffs. To date, this is Bill Belichick's only losing season with the Patriots.

2001 season

The Patriots went 11-5 in the regular season, and defeated the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers on the way to the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Belichick's defense held the St. Louis Rams' offense, which had averaged 31 points during the season, to 17 points, and the Patriots won on a last second field goal by Adam Vinateri. The win was the first Super Bowl championship in Patriots history.

2002 season

The Patriots went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

2003 season

The Patriots' season started with a 31-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills in week 1 a few days after they released team defense captain Lawyer Milloy. The team went on to win 14 out of their remaining 15 games, including the last twelve of the regular season. In the final week of the regular season the Patriots avenged their loss to the Bills by the same 31-0 score. They defeated the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional round. Playing against the Indianapolis Colts and Co-MVP Peyton Manning (Steve McNair of the Titans was also Co-MVP) the Pats recorded 4 interceptions, and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII, where they defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 on a late Adam Vinatieri field goal. Belichick also was awarded with the NFL Coach of the Year Award.

2004 season

The Patriots once again went 14-2, and defeated the Colts in the AFC divisional round. They opened the season at 6-0, which combined with the 12 straight wins to end the previous regular season, broke the record for most wins in a row, formerly held by the Miami Dolphins during and just after their perfect 1972 season, with 18 straight wins. They defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game. In Super Bowl XXXIX the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles and became only the second team to win three Super Bowls in four years. Belichick is the only coach to accomplish this feat. Charlie Weis left for the University of Notre Dame following the game, and Romeo Crennel became the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

2005 season

With a new defensive coordinator in Eric Mangini and no named offensive coordinator, the Patriots went 10-6 and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round before losing to the Denver Broncos in the divisional round.

2006 season

The Patriots went 12-4 and defeated the New York Jets in the Wild Card round. They then beat the San Diego Chargers the next week, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl XLI winner Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game 38-34. The Patriots led 21-3 mid-way during the second quarter, and the Colts comeback was the largest in AFC playoff history since the Bills recovered from a 35-3 halftime deficit to beat the Houston Oilers.

2007 season

Bill Belichick led the Patriots to the first perfect regular season since the introduction of the 16-game regular season schedule in 1978, only the fourth team to do so in National Football League history after the 1934 [ [ Highlights from the 1930s - Chicago Bears ] ] and 1942 Chicago Bears [ [ Highlights from the 1940s - Chicago Bears ] ] and 1972 Miami Dolphins. However, the Patriots were upset in Super Bowl XLII by the New York Giants [cite web | title = Sweet 16 and 0| publisher = | url = | accessdate=2007-12-29 ] The Patriots' failure to attain a "perfect season" (undefeated and untied, including playoffs) preserved the Miami Dolphins as the sole team to do so, having finished their 1972 regular season at 14-0 and having won three games in the playoffs. The only other team in professional football with a perfect season was the 1948 Cleveland Browns (14–0) of the then All-America Football Conference. No team in the former American Football League had a perfect season.

Illegal sideline videotaping

In an incident dubbed "Spygate", [cite web
last = Pedulla
first = Tom
title = Belichick apologizes for 'Videogate'
newspaper = USA Today
date = 2007-09-12
url =
] on September 9 NFL security caught a Patriots video assistant taping the New York Jets' defensive signals from an on-field location. Jets coach Eric Mangini, a former Patriots assistant, tipped off league officials that the Patriots might have been filming their signals. After the game, the Jets formally complained to the league.

On September 13, the NFL fined Belichick $500,000—the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league's 87-year history, [ [ ESPN - Belichick draws $500,000 fine, but avoids suspension - NFL ] ] and fined the Patriots $250,000. Additionally, the Patriots forfeited their first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Goodell said that he fined the Patriots as a team because Belichick is effectively the team's general manager as well as head coach, and exercises so much control over the Patriots' on-field operations that "his actions and decisions are properly attributed to the club." Goodell considered suspending Belichick, but decided that taking away draft picks would be more severe in the long run. [ [ Big fines for Belichick, Patriots - The Boston Globe ] ]

Belichick later issued a statement in which he apologized for what he called a "mistake" in his interpretation of the rules. However, he denied ever using videotape to gain an advantage while a game was underway. [ [ Belichick statement at Patriots Web site] ]

Despite this incident, Belichick was awarded the 2007 NFL Coach of the Year Award, as voted on by the Associated Press. [ [ Belichick voted coach of year for second time in four years] . "ESPN", Accessed 2008-01-02.]

Contract status

Although the Patriots are known for being secretive about the details of Belichick's contract, [ [ Report: Belichick earns new deal] ] an report indicated that the Patriots had extended Belichick's contract, before the season began, through at least the 2013 season.

Overall record in New England

Under Belichick, the Patriots have gone 91–37 in eight seasons. The team has also gone 14–3 in the playoffs, and 3–1 in Super Bowls. They have also won five straight division titles (2003–2007) and six overall. The Patriots have also never lost to a regular season MVP in the playoffs (Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXVI, Peyton Manning and Steve McNair after the 2003 season, Manning in 2004, LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006).

Head coaching record

Coaching tree

As of February 14, 2007, seven members of Belichick's coaching tree were head coaches of either other NFL teams or NCAA Division I football programs:
*Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns
*Eric Mangini, New York Jets
*Nick Saban, University of Alabama
*Charlie Weis, University of Notre Dame
*Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa
*Al Groh, University of Virginia
*Pat Hill, Fresno State University

In addition, eight former Belichick assistants now serve as coordinators, assistant head coaches, or executives for teams around the league:
*Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots
*Dean Pees, defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots
*Scott Pioli, vice president of player personnel for the New England Patriots
*Phil Savage, general manager for the Cleveland Browns
*Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders
*Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans
*Jeff Davidson, offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers

Belichick has been known to cultivate ties with the collegiate branches of his coaching tree: in the 2005 NFL Draft, the Patriots drafted two players from Fresno State, while in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Patriots drafted one Notre Dame player, and then signed two more as free agents after the draft.

In addition, Belichick is a devoted student of the game; during the offseason, he has spent significant amounts of time visiting with other programs to learn from their experiences. For example, he has studied the Navy run offense, sought Bill Walsh (in past years) to understand more about the San Francisco 49ers as an organization and the West Coast offense as a system, [cite web | url= | title=Unlikely influence | publisher="Yahoo! Sports" | author=Charles Robinson | date=2007-07-30] and spent time with Jimmy Johnson to learn about drafting and contract negotiations.cite web | url= | title=Busman's holiday for Belichick | publisher="" | author=Tom Curran | date=2007-04-03]

Similarly, in recent years, he has paid several visits to University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer considers himself a protégé of Belichick and has tried to emulate Belichick's success at New England. [cite web | url= | title=Belichick in Gator Land | publisher="Boston Sports Media" | author=David Scott | accessdate=2007-08-01] Rutgers University head coach Greg Schiano has been an annual visitor to New England Patriots' mini-camps the last few seasons. Schiano has consulted with Belichick on a variety of topics, most notably defense. Schiano has rewritten his entire defense, creating a version of the Belichick 3-4 defense. Schiano uses more of a zone scheme than Belichick, but the traits are similar.cite web | url= | title=Greg Schiano In The House | date=2007-06-06] .

Family life

Belichick was married to Debby Clarke, but they divorced in the summer of 2006.cite web | url= | title=After a bruising year, Belichick opens up | publisher="Boston Globe" | author=Bella English | date=2007-03-04] They allegedly separated before the 2004 season, which was disclosed by the Patriots in July 2005. Belichick was also accused of maintaining a relationship with former Giants receptionist Sharon Shenocca which helped precipitate her divorce. [cite web | url= | title=Belichick Named 'Other Man' in nasty N.J. Divorce | publisher="Boston Herald" | date=2006-07-20] Belichick was seen with Linda Holliday of Jupiter, Florida several times in Arizona during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLII. [cite web | url= | title=Super Stunner: Could Bundchen be to blame?!? | publisher="Boston Herald" | date=2008-02-04] Belichick also had Sharon Shenocca flown in for the game. [cite web | url= | title="Both" Beli-Chicks Touch Down For Bowl! | publisher="Boston Herald" | date=2008-02-01] He has three children with Debby Clarke Belichick: Amanda, Stephen and Brian. Amanda is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where her father went to college. She currently works at Connecticut preparatory school Choate Rosemary Hall. Stephen is a lacrosse player who currently attends Rutgers University on scholarship. Stephen was placed on probation for six months following a marijuana possession conviction in 2006. [ [ ESPN - Son of Belichick gets probation for marijuana arrest - NFL ] ] . Brian attends The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts.

Belichick is a Croatian American. His father, Steve Belichick (born Steven Biličić), played for the Detroit Lions and was an assistant coach and scout with the United States Naval Academy football team for 33 years. Bill reportedly learned to break down game films at a young age by watching his father and the Navy staff do their jobs. [Halberstam, David. "The Education of a Coach." Hyperion, 2005. (ISBN 1-4013-0879-1)] His paternal grandparents Ivan Biličić and Marija (Mary) Barković emigrated from Karlovac, Croatia (from the village of Draganić) in the 1897 and left for USA, where they settled in Monessen near Pittsburgh hr icon [,2,22,belichick_patriots,63704.jl Jutarnji list] Bill Belichick Djed iz Draganića uvijek mi je pričao o Hrvatskoj, Feb 02, 2007 ] .

Steve Belichick was an advisor on the sidelines of the Patriots through the 2004 season, and was famous for taking a hit accidentally from Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown in a game in 2000; he was not hurt in the incident.

Steve Belichick maintained strong ties with the Croatian community in Pennsylvania. When he married, at the suggestion of Immigration Center, he changed his surname from Biličić into Belichick..

Media and entertainment

*Belichick had a cameo appearance in an episode of the Denis Leary drama "Rescue Me" as a mourner at a funeral, alongside former Boston Bruin Phil Esposito.

*On the October 30, 2006 installment of ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, he was featured in a makeover spoof with quarterback Tom Brady, which was done by the three main characters from "Ugly Betty" (America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, and Becki Newton as Amanda). [cite web | url= | title=THE cast of “Ugly Betty” gives Bill Belichick a fabulous mode makeover, transforming him into Tom Brady | publisher="The Futon Critic" | date=2006-10-27] The end result: A photo of Belichick as "Ugly Bill!"

*In the Madden NFL video game series his name is not used and is known as "NE Coach" because he is not a member of the NFLHCA (NFL Head Coaches Association), which licenses the game. Belichick is the only NFL head coach who has chosen not to join the association. This also applied to Bill Parcells when he was Dallas Cowboys head coach because his contract with ESPN prohibited it.

*Belichick is well known as a fan of the rock band Bon Jovi, who visited Patriots training camp on August 14, 2006. [cite web | url= | title=Belichick plugs in his rocker friend | publisher="The Boston Globe" | date=2004-01-29] Their 2002 song "Bounce" is dedicated to Belichick. [cite web | url= | title=Bon Jovi on football: It's my life | publisher="New England Patriots" | date=2002-08-29]

*Belichick and Spygate were heavily referenced in the 2008 "South Park" episode "Eek, A Penis!."

Notes and references

External links

* [ All Things Bill Belichick]
* [ Stephen N. Belichick]
* [ Bill Belichick coach page]
* [ Coaching history]
* [ Coaching record at]

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