close
close

Voice News

CA News 2024

searchengine

Legendary coach Bill Belichick confirms he is leaving New England Patriots after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles

Legendary head coach Bill Belichick confirmed Thursday that he is leaving the New England Patriots after 24 seasons in which the franchise won six Super Bowl titles.

Standing next to Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a media conference, Belichick said the two had “mutually agreed” to part ways when they met following the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Kraft emphasized that he and Belichick had parted ways “amicably.”

“For me, this is a day of gratitude and celebration,” said Belichick, who thanked the Patriots organization for the support they provided him during his time with the team.

The departure ends one of the greatest head coaching runs in NFL history, in which Belichick changed the fortunes of the Patriots organization.

Paired with era-defining quarterback Tom Brady, Belichick transformed the Patriots into one of the league’s juggernauts, almost consistently making deep playoff runs and competing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, proving the benchmark for others.

“I am incredibly grateful to have played for the greatest coach in NFL history,” Brady said on Instagram on Thursday.

But following Brady’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, the team has struggled in the regular season and playoffs, with New England finishing this past season with a 4-13 record.

Belichick leaves the team with a 266-120 record in the regular season and a 30-12 mark in the playoffs, according to NFL.com.

“Coach Belichick will forever be celebrated as a legendary sports icon here in New England and I believe he will be on the first ballot as a Pro Football Hall of Famer. Why? Because he is the greatest coach of all time, which makes this decision to part ways so difficult,” Kraft said at Thursday’s media conference.

Following his previous performance alongside Belichick, Kraft said during a separate news conference that the team wants to appropriately honor the longtime head coach when he retires.

When asked about Belichick’s replacement, Kraft said he was looking for someone to lead the Patriots back to the playoffs.

“I’m very angry when we don’t win games,” he said.

The biggest ever?

Belichick’s journey from learning under his father on the Naval Academy football team and his days as an assistant coach in the league is now the stuff of legend.

His time as defensive coordinator under head coach Bill Parcells during their time together with the New York Giants proved to be a turning point for the NFL as a whole, with Parcells acting as a mentor to a young Belichick as they won two Super Bowl titles. The couple’s relationship was later immortalized as ‘The Two Bills’ in an ESPN ’30 for 30′ special released in 2018.

Belichick earned his first head coaching job as a 38-year-old with the Cleveland Browns before being let go during the franchise’s acrimonious move to Baltimore.

A reunion with Parcells followed with the New York Jets before he joined the Patriots as head coach after just one day as head coach of the Jets following one of the most memorable press conferences in NFL history.

Belichick’s time with the Pats couldn’t have started better when he selected Brady in his first draft with New England, selecting the unheralded prospect with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.

“Without you, Coach Belichick, I could never have been the player I was. I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose,” Brady said.

“He was a great leader for the organization and for all the players who played for him,” Brady wrote. “He worked every day to help us achieve the ultimate goal, in the ultimate team sport. And while we were successful, some of the greatest lessons I learned were when we faced the most challenging adversity.”

And over the next two decades, they turned the Patriots into a juggernaut, with the ruthlessness of Belichick and Brady keeping New England on top.

Belichick said at his departure press conference that when he was hired by Kraft, the pair had a “vision of building a winner, building a championship football team” that has exceeded his wildest dreams and expectations.

Belichick is the only head coach in NFL history to win six Super Bowl titles. He ranks second all-time with 333 total wins as a head coach. His 31 career playoff wins are the most ever among head coaches.

Belichick and Brady celebrate after the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.  -Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBelichick and Brady celebrate after the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.  -Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

But more than that, his fingerprints are all over the league.

Current NFL head coach Brian Daboll has connections to Belichick, while other well-known faces in the sport such as Mike Vrabel, Matt Patricia, Brian Flores, Joe Judge, Josh McDaniels, Nick Saban, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini can all trace their lineage back to it.

The pinnacle of the Belichick-Brady combination manifested itself in 2007 when the Patriots made history by becoming the first team to finish the regular season with an undefeated record of 16-0.

With Brady at the helm – he would win MVP that season – and superstar wide receiver Randy Moss on the outside, the team’s offense was virtually unstoppable, finishing the season with an NFL-best 36.8 points per game. And combined with a stout defense, New England was a juggernaut.

After making it through the playoffs, the Patriots faced the New York Giants in the Super Bowl where, in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history, New England was defeated 17-14 and David Tyree’s ‘Helmet Catch’ was written into folklore.

However, the dramatic upheaval wouldn’t stop the Patriots juggernaut. Belichick’s ability to transform underrated pieces into stars while simultaneously getting rid of players just as they began to hit the downward slope of their careers became legendary and vital as his teams were consistently Super Bowl contenders.

His long tenure also included a number of investigations, from filming the opposing team’s hand signals during a 2007 match in what became known as Spygate to the use of underinflated balls in a 2015 AFC Championship match in the Deflategate scandal. The incidents cost Belichick and the team hefty fines and numerous draft picks.

He constantly faced questions about whether he saw himself as the Patriots’ head coach in the future, and he had always made sure to respond in his trademark deadpan manner.

The 71-year-old said Monday it was “way too early” to make a decision on his future as the team’s head coach after rumors swirled about whether his time in New England could be coming to an end.

He also said Monday that he would meet with owner Robert Kraft in the coming days to discuss the team’s direction.

Belichick struggled to contain his emotions as he thanked Patriots fans on Thursday.

“There are so many memories for the fans,” he said. “The broadcasts, the parades, the Sundays. Whatever the situation, the letters of support… I am extremely grateful to the fans for all the support they have given me, my family and this football team.

“So many fond memories and thoughts I think of the Patriots and I will always be a Patriot. I’m looking forward to coming back here, but right now we’re moving on… I’ll always appreciate the opportunity here, the support here, and Robert (for) what you’ve done for me. ”

Fans show their support for Belichick during the first half of the Patriots' game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. - Michael Dwyer/APFans show their support for Belichick during the first half of the Patriots' game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. - Michael Dwyer/AP

Fans show their support for Belichick during the first half of the Patriots’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. – Michael Dwyer/AP

Belichick also had fun recognizing the reporters who have covered the Patriots over the past 24 seasons.

“I don’t know if anyone has gotten more attention than I have, or that we have in the last 24 years… You are our voice for the fans,” he said. “Even if we don’t always agree with each other – most of the time, but not always. I respect what you do.”

Belichick’s departure from the Patriots comes one day after Saban — who spent four seasons as Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Browns — announced his retirement as Alabama football coach.

“What Bill did will never be repeated. It’ll be hard to see him in a cut-off hoodie on any other sideline. I wish him luck, except when he’s coaching against our beloved Patriots,” Kraft said.

From his gruff attitude to the six titles he brought to Massachusetts, Belichick leaves the Patriots as perhaps the greatest NFL head coach of all time.

This story has been updated with additional information.

For more CNN news and newsletters, create an account at CNN.com