New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo was introduced as Bill Belichick’s successor Wednesday, and in earning that (now official) promotion, he made history.

Mayo is the first Black head coach in Patriots history.

It’s a distinction that clearly means a lot to the 37-year-old, who quickly earned the job after the Patriots and Belichick “amicably” agreed to part ways after the season. Mayo discussed what the promotion meant to him, while also revealing that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reached out to congratulate him.

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“Mike T reached out, he’s actually from our hometown back in Virginia,” Mayo said Wednesday, per team-provided video. “We haven’t really talked about the challenges, but I appreciate (Robert Kraft) and the organization for selecting me to be a Black head coach.

“… I do see color because I believe if you don’t see color, you can’t see racism. Whatever happens, Black, white, disabled person — even someone with disabilities, for the most part people are like — when they’re young, they kind of make the spot hot. Younger people know what that means. But what I would say is, no, I want you to be able to go up to those people and really understand those people. It goes back to whatever it is, Black, white, yellow, it really doesn’t matter, but it does matter so we can try to fix the problem that we all know we have.”

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Tomlin and Mayo are two of the four Black head coaches in the NFL, joining Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans). That improves the total from three, which the league plateaued at for five seasons.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images