FOXBORO, Mass. — We all know who Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be rooting for when the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen take the field Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

(It’s Navy.)

Belichick grew up in Annapolis, Md., as his father, Steve, was an assistant coach and scout for the Naval Academy from 1956 to 1989. The 71-year-old has carried his allegiance to the Midshipmen throughout his life, repping the program whenever possible and even making former Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo a visitor at training camp through the years. He’ll even represent the Middies as the celebrity guest picker during ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Saturday.

That doesn’t sit right with some people, though.

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“He was raised wrong,” Army head coach Jeff Monken told last month. “It’s unfortunate (for Army) that his dad got a job at Navy and worked their for a long time. He grew up there, but had his dad got a job at Army, I’m sure he’d be on the right side of the rivalry.”

Monken, of course, said this tongue in cheek. The 56-year-old actually has a relationship with Belichick, having spent time with him back in the mid-2000s when he was an assistant coach at Navy.

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“Coach (Steve Belichick) would come up and drink coffee and read the paper every day when I was an assistant coach at Navy under Paul Johnson,” Monken told NESN. “I got to know him very well, and one summer a lady in the office came up and said, ‘Coach Belichick wants to come up and watch film today.’ I responded and said, ‘Coach Belichick is up here every day,’ and she said, ‘No, Coach Bill Belichick wants to come up and watch film.’ … I saw Steve and Bill, they came up and it was the first time I met (Bill).

“… I figured he was going to look at some of the guys we played against that had a draftable grade, or something like that. They had just won a Super Bowl, and he said, ‘You guys run the ball so effectively, I want to look at your run game.’ I said, ‘Coach, I don’t think there’s anything we do on offense that’s going to correlate to what you do.’ We sat there for four hours and watched film.”

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Monken spent five years at Navy, where he would run into Belichick on occasion. It wasn’t necessarily enough to build a lifelong relationship, but one that developed respect on the Army coach’s behalf.

“He’s still a student of the game,” Monken said. “He still wants to learn the game, and learn more and get better. I’m sure he’s still that way. That’s why he’s had so much success. That’s why he’s perhaps the best football coach to ever coach this game. He’s a good guy, a really impressive guy. That was cool, to be a young assistant and spend a few hours with a Super Bowl-winning coach.”

Army and Navy will kick things off from Gillette Stadium at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. will have full coverage live from Foxboro, Mass.

Featured image via Danny Wild/USA TODAY Sports Images