Most professional coaches fall into one of two main categories. There are the brave, unimpeachable leaders admired by their athletes and their team’s fans as victory-minded strategists on par with military heroes. (Think Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, or Vince Lombardi.) Then there are the high-strung guys, the ones who yell and scream and take their jobs way too seriously — Bobby Knight, for example.
And then there’s Bill Belichick. The longtime New England Patriots head coach must be doing something right — he’s guided his team to eight Super Bowls since taking the reins in 2000 — but he’s also a hard nut to crack. The guy rarely smiles and keeps a low profile, for good reason. Let’s shed some light on some of the darker aspects of Belichick’s life.
He coached the New York Jets for one day
New York Jets fans probably harbor a special kind of animosity for Belichick. Not only have the Patriots beat the Jets to win the AFC East 15 times in the Belichick era, but there’s also an element of “it could have been us” lingering in the air.
In early 2000, Bill Parcells resigned as head coach of the Jets, but he had plans in place for assistant coach Belichick to take over. According to CBS Sports, Belichick was announced as the Jets’ new coach, and the next day the team held an introductory press conference. But instead of taking the wheel, Belichick resigned to the surprise of everyone, including the New York Jets organization.
“Due to the various uncertainties surrounding my position as it relates to the team’s new ownership,” Belichick said, “I’ve decided to resign as the head coach of the New York Jets.” He reportedly penned his letter of resignation on a napkin. His reasons were cryptic, but direct: “I’ve been in situations … where I was the head coach of a team in transition,” he said at his hello-goodbye press junket. “Frankly it wasn’t a really good experience for me or for them.”
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