Coach Bill Belichick, Patriots part ways after 24 seasons, 6 Super Bowl wins

Bill Belichick ranks third in NFL history with 302 wins as a head coach, trailing only Don Shula and George Halas. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
1 of 5 | Bill Belichick ranks third in NFL history with 302 wins as a head coach, trailing only Don Shula and George Halas. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Bill Belichick's legendary 24-year tenure with the New England Patriots has come to an end, with the record six-time Super Bowl winning head coach parting ways with the AFC East franchise, he announced Thursday.

Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke about the move at a news conference at the Patriots headquarters in Foxborough, Mass. The longtime coach and team owner met Wednesday night to discuss the transition.


"Robert and I, after a series of discussions, have mutually agreed to part ways," Belichick told reporters. "For me, this is a day of gratitude and celebration."

Belichick, viewed by many as the greatest coach in NFL history, won 302 regular-season games over his 29-year career. That total stands as the third-most of all-time, trailing only Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).


Kraft, who said the Patriots and Belichick "mutually agreed to part ways amicably," hinted that the coach could continue elsewhere in his statement to the media.

"It'll be difficult to see him in a cut-off hoodie on the sideline, but I will always wish him continued success, except when he is playing our beloved Patriots," Kraft said.

Belichick spent 10 years as an NFL assistant and positions coach before becoming a defensive coordinator in 1985 for the New York Giants. He held that role until he was hired to coach the Cleveland Browns in 1991.

Belichick led the Browns to a 36-44 record, before being fired in 1996. He was hired later that year by the Patriots as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach. He went on to work as an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 1997 through 1999.

The Patriots hired Belichick as their head coach in 2000, starting one of the most-successful dynasties in sports history.

The Patriots logged a winning record in just one of Belichick's first six seasons. They went on to win Super Bowls in three of the next four years, with then-young quarterback Tom Brady leading the offense.


Belichick's Patriots posted winning records in 19 consecutive seasons from 2001 through 2019. They won at least 10 games 18 times during that span. Belichick and Brady led the Patriots to additional Super Bowl titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019. They also teamed up to complete a perfect 16-0 regular season in 2007, before losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Overall, Belichick's Patriots appeared in nine Super Bowls. They were 31-13 in 44 postseason appearances.

"We had a vision of building a winner and building a championship football team here and it exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations," Belichick said.

The 2023 version of the Patriots went 4-13, the worst record for any Belichick-coached team. It marked the eighth season of Belichick's coaching career in which his team had a losing record.

News of Belichick's split with the Patriots came less than 24 hours after his friend and former colleague Nick Saban announced he would step down from his role as head coach at Alabama. Saban, who worked as a defensive coordinator under Belichick for the Browns, won a record seven titles at the collegiate level.

The news also came a year after Brady announced his retirement from the league. Brady posted a 219-64 record as a starter while playing for Belichick.


"There are so many fond memories and thoughts when I think about the Patriots," Belichick said. "I'll always be a Patriots and I look forward to being back here, but at this time, we're going to move on.

"I'll look forward and I'm excited about the future, but I'll always be very appreciate of the opportunity and support here and what Robert Kraft [did] for me."

The Patriots are now one of eight NFL franchises searching for a new head coach. The Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers have also fired their head coaches since the start of the 2023-24 season.

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