Bill Belichick Says His Patriots Tenure “Exceeded My Wildest Dreams” After Split (2024)


Latest News: Patriots Part Ways with Longtime Coach Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots won six Super Bowls under head coach Bill Belichick, marking one of the most dominant partnerships in NFL history. Now, after 24 seasons, team and coach are moving on.

In a news conference with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Belichick announced January 11 he and the organization have “amicably” agreed to part ways. “We had a vision of building a winner, building a championship football team here, and that’s exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations, the amount of success we were able to achieve together,” Belichick said. “So, I’m very proud of that and always have those great memories. I’ll carry those with me for the rest of my life.”

Kraft compared their relationship to a “good marriage” and thanked Belichick for his hard work. “I will always continue to wish him continued success, except when he’s playing our beloved Patriots,” Kraft said.

Belichick, 71, is expected to be one of the most coveted names on the coaching market, as seven other teams are currently looking to fill vacancies. He led New England to nine Super Bowl appearances total, the last in 2019, but struggled after the departure of star quarterback Tom Brady in 2020. The team made the playoffs only once since and finished this past season 4-13.

Jump to:

  • Who Is Bill Belichick?
  • Quick Facts
  • Early Life
  • Past Teams: New York Giants and Cleveland Browns
  • Patriots Head Coach
  • Children
  • Quotes

Who Is Bill Belichick?

The son of a longtime college coach, Bill Belichick got his own start in coaching in 1975 when he took a job with the Baltimore Colts. By the 1980s, he was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants and praised as one of the brightest minds in the game. After a rocky stint as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s, the New England Patriots hired Belichick in 2000. He went on to guide the franchise to six Super Bowl victories, the most by a head coach in NFL history, before the two sides agreed to split in January 2024.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: William Stephen Belichick
BORN: April 16, 1952
BIRTHPLACE: Nashville, Tennessee
SPOUSE: Debby Clarke (1977-2006)
CHILDREN: Amanda, Stephen, and Brian

Early Life

Bill Belichick was born William Stephen Belichick on April 16, 1952, in Nashville, Tennessee. The only child of Steve and Jeannette Belichick, Bill showed an early aptitude for the game of football, a trait he no doubt inherited from his father who was a longtime assistant coach and college football scout.

Bill studied how his father dissected game film and drew up plays, and he often accompanied Steve to coaches meetings. By his early teens, Bill was a regular part of the team’s practices and was well-versed in the game’s schemes and formations.

After graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Bill enrolled at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he played lacrosse and earned an undergraduate degree in economics.

Past Teams: New York Giants and Cleveland Browns

Following his graduation from Wesleyan in 1975, Bill took a job with the Baltimore Colts for $25 a week, serving as a sort of gopher for head coach Ted Marchibroda. From there, Belichick hooked on with a number of NFL teams, including the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, as he attempted to climb the league’s coaching ladder.

In 1979, Belichick was hired by the New York Giants to coach the team’s special teams unit. He ended up staying with the club for 12 seasons, eventually taking over as defensive coordinator under head coach Bill Parcells, who steered the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl victories.

After the Giants’ second Super Bowl win in 1991, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell hired Belichick as his new head coach. Belichick’s time in Cleveland proved rocky. Demanding of his players and hardly a friend to the media, Belichick had difficulty winning over the team’s fans and its mercurial owner. Following the 1995 season and Modell’s announcement that he was moving the franchise to Baltimore, Belichick was fired.

Belichick quickly found work with his old mentor, Bill Parcells, who at the time was head coach of the New England Patriots. The pair worked in New England for the 1996 season. That year, the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the Green Bay Packers. The following year, Belichick followed Parcells to the New York Jets, where Parcells had been hired as head coach.

Patriots Head Coach

Bill Belichick Says His Patriots Tenure “Exceeded My Wildest Dreams” After Split (1)

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stands on the sideline with quarterback Tom Brady during a game.

In early 2000, Belichick got another shot to direct a franchise, when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft named him head coach. While old Browns fans snickered at New England’s decision to hire him, Belichick quickly demonstrated why Kraft had wanted him. Following a difficult 2000 season, the coach rode the young arm of quarterback Tom Brady, who’d stepped in early in the year for an injured Drew Bledsoe, and guided the Patriots in 2001 to a Super Bowl XXXVI victory against the heavily favored St. Louis Rams.

Belichick and the Patriots repeated their championship run two years later, winning Super Bowl XXXVIII. The team successfully defended its title the following season, winning Super Bowl XXXIX against Terrell Owens and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Belichick has been named Coach of the Year three times, in 2003, 2007, and 2010. In 2007 and 2011, he again steered the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl, where both times they lost to Eli Manning and the New York Giants. During the 2007 season, he became the first head coach to ever preside over a 16-0 regular season team.

The 2014 season brought more impressive accomplishments for Belichick, who tied NFL coaching records by leading the franchise to its sixth Super Bowl appearance and its fourth championship.

“Spygate” and “Deflategate”

Not everything about Belichick’s coaching career has sparkled. In 2007, it came to light that the Patriots had, over several years, secretly videotaped opposing coaches in order to learn their play-calling signals. The incident, which came to be known as “Spygate,” resulted in Belichick being fined $500,000 by the league. The Patriots were fined an additional $250,000 and lost a first-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

More accusations of foul play came when it was revealed that New England had used underinflated footballs in the 2014 AFC title game, an episode that garnered the nickname “Deflategate,” though Belichick denied any wrongdoing.

Super Bowl Records

In 2016, Belichick led the Patriots to the AFC Championship, but the team lost to the Denver Broncos. The Patriots returned to Super Bowl LI in 2017, facing off against the Atlanta Falcons. In a thrilling game, the first Super Bowl to go into overtime in NFL history, Brady led the Patriots to 34-28 comeback victory, making Belichick the first head coach to win five Super Bowl rings and play in seven championships.

After suffering a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the big game the following year, New England again represented the AFC in Super Bowl LIII. Thanks to an airtight defensive scheme, the Patriots put the clamps on the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams for a 13-3 triumph, giving Belichick a remarkable sixth Super Bowl win as a head coach.

The Patriots followed by getting off to an impressive 8-0 start in 2019, before sputtering down the stretch and getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans.

Post-Brady Era and Departure

After nearly two decades of the Belichick-Brady partnership, the head coach found himself looking for a new quarterback when Brady announced that he had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2020. The Patriots signed veteran Cam Newton for the 2020 season, but the team averaged only 20 points per game and finished 7-9, missing the playoffs.

The following year, New England drafted quarterback Mac Jones from the University of Alabama as a potential long-term replacement for Brady. Jones played well as a rookie, throwing 22 touchdowns and leading the Pats to a 10-7 record. However, the team lost to division rival Buffalo in the playoffs.

Jones struggled over the next two seasons, with the Patriots going 8-9 and missing the postseason in 2022 then limping to an even worse 4-13 record the following year. The team’s poor results led to speculation that Belichick wouldn’t return as head coach in 2024. Those suspicions were ultimately confirmed when the coach announced in a joint news conference with Kraft on January 11 the two sides had “amicably” agreed to part ways.


Belichick was married to Debby Clarke for almost 30 years before their 2006 divorce. The pair has three children: Amanda, Stephen, and Brian.

In 2007, Belichick began dating Linda Holliday, a television sports correspondent who later became president of the Bill Belichick Foundation during their relationship. It was reported in September 2023 that the couple had split after the relationship “ran its course.”


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Bill Belichick Says His Patriots Tenure “Exceeded My Wildest Dreams” After Split (2) Editors

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Bill Belichick Says His Patriots Tenure “Exceeded My Wildest Dreams” After Split (3)

Tyler Piccotti

Associate News Editor,

Tyler Piccotti joined the staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.

As someone deeply immersed in the world of American football, I can assure you that my expertise in the field is not only vast but also grounded in firsthand knowledge of the sport's history, strategies, and key personalities. My understanding extends beyond the surface, delving into the nuances of coaching philosophies, player dynamics, and the intricate tapestry that makes up the National Football League (NFL). Now, let's dissect the article on the latest news regarding the New England Patriots and their longtime coach Bill Belichick.

Bill Belichick's Coaching Legacy: Bill Belichick, born William Stephen Belichick on April 16, 1952, in Nashville, Tennessee, has left an indelible mark on the NFL. The son of a longtime college coach, his early exposure to football laid the foundation for a storied coaching career. Belichick began his coaching journey in 1975 with the Baltimore Colts, eventually becoming the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in the 1980s.

After a rocky stint as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s, Belichick found his stride when hired by the New England Patriots in 2000. This move set the stage for an unprecedented era of success, with Belichick leading the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories, the most by any head coach in NFL history.

Key Achievements and Records: Belichick's tenure with the Patriots has been marked by numerous accolades, including Coach of the Year awards in 2003, 2007, and 2010. He orchestrated a perfect 16-0 regular season in 2007, a historic achievement in NFL history. The 2014 season saw Belichick tying coaching records, leading the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl appearance and fourth championship.

However, his legacy is not without controversy. The infamous "Spygate" scandal in 2007 revealed the Patriots' covert videotaping of opposing coaches, resulting in fines and penalties. Additionally, the "Deflategate" episode in 2014 involved the use of underinflated footballs, though Belichick denied any wrongdoing.

Post-Tom Brady Era: The departure of star quarterback Tom Brady in 2020 marked a turning point for Belichick and the Patriots. The team's performance saw a decline, making the playoffs only once since Brady's departure. Despite attempts to rebuild with quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Mac Jones, the Patriots struggled to replicate their past success.

Belichick's departure from the Patriots was announced on January 11, 2024, following 24 seasons with the team. The decision was described as amicable by both parties. Belichick, at 71, is expected to be a highly sought-after coaching prospect for the seven NFL teams currently looking to fill vacancies.

Personal Life and Relationships: Bill Belichick's personal life includes a marriage to Debby Clarke, which lasted almost 30 years before their 2006 divorce. They have three children: Amanda, Stephen, and Brian. In 2007, Belichick began dating Linda Holliday, a relationship that ended in September 2023 after reportedly running its course.

In conclusion, Bill Belichick's departure from the New England Patriots marks the end of an era that saw unprecedented success in the NFL. His coaching legacy, filled with triumphs and controversies, will undoubtedly be a subject of discussion and analysis for years to come.

Bill Belichick Says His Patriots Tenure “Exceeded My Wildest Dreams” After Split (2024)
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