Love them or hate them, the New England Patriots have been a model of consistency and success for 15 years, culminating in their latest Super Bowl victory on Sunday. And the same goes for their coach over those years, Bill Belichick, who is a son of a Navy Veteran.
The late Steve Belichik, who served in the Navy at Normandy and Okinawa, was a fixture at the Navy football program as an assistant coach and advance scout, and a huge influence on his son. Young Bill grew up near the Naval Academy, graduating from Annapolis High School before going on to a life of football accomplishments. He was known to have memorized Navy’s football plays by the age of 6.
“I want to thank the people of the Naval Academy for teaching me the meaning of the word teamwork,” Belichick said soon after winning his second Super Bowl in 2004. “I try to impart that to the players I’ve coached and I think our players this year displayed to the entire nation, maybe the entire world, how guys collectively committed to a goal can work unselfishly for the team.”
On Sunday, the Patriots demonstrated the meaning of teamwork again with a thrilling come from behind 28-24 victory in Super Bowl XLIX, Belichick’s fourth in 15 seasons as a head coach.
At the time we profiled Belichick, his Pats just completed a legendary 16-0 perfect regular season, only to lose its only game of the year, Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants. With this past Sunday’s victory, Belichick has finally reclaimed the top of the NFL once again – through teamwork.