Belichick to Leave Patriots After 24-Year-Long Run

( – The world of professional football coaching recently experienced an unprecedented shift in personnel. On Wednesday, January 10, the Seattle Seahawks and Alabama Crimson Tide announced the departure of their head coaches. The following day, rumors started circulating that New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t return next season, ending his long run with the team.

Thursday afternoon, the Patriots issued a press release formally announcing that the team and Belichick had “mutually agreed to part ways.” The statement didn’t provide any additional details about the longtime head coach’s departure. Instead, the notice provided an in-depth rundown of his background before joining the franchise and many accomplishments with the team during his 24-year tenure.

Belichick joined the New England Patriots in January 2000, becoming the football franchise’s 14th head coach. To say his record with the team was impressive would be an incredible understatement. His accomplishments included several NFL milestones.

  • The only head coach to win six Super Bowl titles;
  • The most postseason wins, 31, and the most postseason appearances, 44;
  • One of only three coaches to win six championships since the NFL started postseason play 90 years ago. Hall of Famers Curly Lambeau (Green Bay Packers) and George Halas (Chicago Bears);
  • Second most consecutive wins (19, from 2001 to 2019), coming in behind the legendary Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry (20, 1965 through 1985);
  • Second most overall wins, 333;
  • Second most total games (511), coming in slightly behind Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Don Shula (526).

Belichick started his coaching career as a special assistant to then-Baltimore Colts coach Ted Marchibroda in 1975. He joined the Detroit Lions as a special teams coach the following year. Over the years, he coached in various capacities for the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, and New York Jets.

Belichick and Patriots Chair and CEO Robert Kraft held a short press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss his departure. Belichick thanked “Robert” for the opportunity to serve as head coach and his tremendous support over the years. He said his time with the team “exceeded [his] wildest dreams and expectations” and lauded the Patriots’ record of success under his stewardship.

Kraft shared that sentiment, adding that “like a good marriage, a successful head coach/owner relationship” requires time and effort. He also expressed his pride in their 24-year partnership. Kraft concluded his remarks by wishing Belichick “continued success,” with one notable exception — “when he’s playing our beloved Patriots.”

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