He grew up in a football household, as his father, Steve Belichick, was a coach at Navy for more than 30 years. Steve, who died in 2005, turned his son into the man he’s become, and Bill Belichick took a trip down memory lane to discuss his father’s impact on him.
“Growing up with it, it was my life as a kid from when I first remember; 4, 5, 6 years old through the rest of my life,” Belichick said. “He had a huge impact on my childhood, my love for the game and my involvement in the game as a coach, even though I played poorly. It was still a good experience to play, but coaching, really, has always been the love. I think a lot of little things he did in terms of work ethic and teamwork. Being around the Naval Academy, of course, that is a very unique atmosphere, particularly as it relates to football. But the teamwork that comes with that and the commitment that those players and teams have, I saw at a young age.
“The Joe Bellinos, the Roger Staubachs, the Tom Lynches, the Pat Donnellys, it’s hard to really measure exactly what percentage of impact it was, other to say it was significant. It’s huge. I still maintain a close contact with those players today. It’s something that has stayed with me through my life, even though I wasn’t really a part of those teams. I’ve been adopted by some of them, and that is a special feeling. I’d also say that my high school coach, Al Laramore, who is a hall-of-fame coach in the state of Maryland, had a similar attitude and a different style for sure. Coach won championships in three sports — football, basketball and lacrosse. He had a lot of the same attitudes toward playing and teamwork.
“I grew up that way, and that shaped me to a large degree, as has all my coaching experiences and certainly those 10 years with [Bill] Parcells in New York, as well as New England and New York again. He was a huge influence as well. He reinforced a lot of things as well.”