Post-Belichick, a New Head Coach for NE Patriots

Jerod Mayo, assistant coach who has also played for team, is Patriots' first Black head coach
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2024 7:17 AM CST
Updated Jan 13, 2024 7:00 AM CST
New England Patriots Bid Farewell to Belichick
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL game against the New York Jets on Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
UPDATE Jan 13, 2024 7:00 AM CST

The man set to replace Bill Belichick to lead the New England Patriots is someone Belichick knows well. He's also now the team's first Black head coach, as well as the National Football League's youngest. The NFL reports that team owner Robert Kraft has handed coaching responsibilities over to 37-year-old Jerod Mayo, who will receive an official welcome as the new coach during a Wednesday presser. Long considered a possible heir to Belichick, Mayo played for the Patriots for eight seasons, winning a Super Bowl ring with the team in 2014, per the AP. In 2019, Mayo became the Patriots' linebackers coach. One player noted in a recent interview that Mayo has the respect of the team. "Players love him," Ja'Whaun Bentley said. "I love to play for him. He gets the best out of his players. At the same time, he understands as far as the culture and everything how to get everybody going."

Jan 11, 2024 7:17 AM CST

Six-time NFL champion Bill Belichick agreed to part ways as the coach of the New England Patriots on Thursday, bringing an end to his 24-year tenure as the architect of the most decorated dynasty of the league's Super Bowl era, a source tells the AP. A news conference is planned for later in the day in which team owner Robert Kraft and Belichick will address the decision. Belichick, 71, became just the third coach in NFL history to reach 300 career regular-season wins earlier this season, joining Hall of Famers Don Shula and George Halas. With 333 wins including the playoffs, Belichick trails only Shula (347 wins) for the record for victories by a coach. But the Patriots ended this season 4-13, Belichick's worst record in 29 seasons as an NFL head coach. It supplanted the 5-11 mark he managed in his last year in Cleveland in 1995, and again in his first year in New England in 2000.

Including the playoffs, he ends his Patriots tenure with a 333-178 overall record. With his cutoff hoodies and ever-present scowl, Belichick teamed with quarterback Tom Brady to lead the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles, and 17 division championships in 19 years. During a less successful—but also tumultuous—stint with the original Cleveland Browns, Belichick earned 37 of his career victories. It's not immediately clear who Kraft will tap to replace the future Hall of Famer. Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo won a Super Bowl ring playing under Belichick and has interviewed for multiple head-coaching vacancies since becoming a New England assistant in 2019.

story continues below

Mayo turned down a few interviews last offseason before signing a contract extension to remain with the Patriots. Mike Vrabel, who was fired earlier this week by the Tennessee Titans and won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, is also expected to be a candidate for the head coaching job. Belichick had been grooming offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace him before McDaniels left following the 2021 season to become the coach of the Raiders; he has since been fired by Las Vegas. Belichick's two sons, Steve and Brian, are also on the coaching staff. The legacy of Belichick, who also served as the de facto general manager with final say on personnel decisions, also includes two major cheating investigations in New England—and some minor ones—that cost him and the team draft picks and more than $1 million in fines. Much more here. (More Bill Belichick stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.