Belichick opens up on work before coaching

Belichick opens up on work before coaching
September 6, 2013, 3:45 pm
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"The league is so competitive that – look, it isn’t even who has the better team. It’s just who plays better,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

(USA Today Sports Images)

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick begins his 19th season as an NFL head coach on Sunday. It also marks his 39th coaching season in the league.

And Fridays are usually the days in which Belichick shows his lighter side to the media, and opens up about the history of the game.

This Friday, Belichick discussed how much he's still enjoying his job, even with so many years under his belt.

"I like football," said Belichick. "Really, I like the game, I like the players, I like what it’s all about. Every part of it -- whether it’s assembling a team, working with new players, working with veteran players that are experienced and extremely talented at the highest level, game-planning, scouting, preparation, practice, games -- I enjoy all of it. It beats working."

And believe it or not, before Belichick joined the Baltimore Colts as a special assistant in 1975 -- while playing in high school and college -- he actually worked outside of football. Belichick admitted, on Friday, that he had several other jobs growing up, which led him to his ultimate goal of an NFL head coach.

"I was fortunate that I was able to work at my dad’s football camps, which was two-to-three weeks over the summer," said Belichick. "That was really, it was a great experience for me. It was a summer job that was a week off from my other summer jobs, whether that was waiting or working for Mayflower Moving or whatever it happened to be."

Belichick learned during those weeks away from being a waiter and a mover, that he wanted to stay in football and continue to learn.

"It was good because I had an opportunity to work with a lot of college coaches, other guys who eventually became pro coaches," said Belichick. "A couple coaches like Ralph Hawkins and George Boutselis that I actually worked with my first year at the Colts worked in my dad’s camps; Whitey Dovell also. There were three of them on that staff. That was a great opportunity for me too, to work in those camps.

"It was a lot of good coaches, working with kids in high school, junior high school, not that I was like a full-fledged coach or anything, but just the experience of being around it, seeing a lot of the things, hearing coaches talk, exchange ideas, seeing different coaches coach different techniques at the same position. It was a great experience too. That was another – it wasn’t a high paying summer job but it was a good job; glad I had it."

But even then, Belichick said that he was a better lacrosse player than a football player. And in case you're wondering, Belichick played center, tight end, linebacker, and was, as he described it, a "poor" snapper.

It wasn't until he joined forces with Lou Holtz, when he truly realized football coaching was for him.

"I was playing lacrosse and that was probably my better sport," said Belichick. "But I loved football and then when the opportunity came up to go with Coach [Lou] Holtz down to N.C. State, in the spring of ’75, that was something I felt would marry well with continuing my education, trying to get a Master’s and coach with him. When that didn’t work out – Lou was the first coach that hired me and the first coach that fired me, as I like to remind him of – then it fortunately worked out [with] Coach [Ted] Marchibroda at the Colts.

"I didn’t really have anything; I didn’t really have anywhere to go at that point because the N.C. State thing fell through. I was totally open and fortunately that was able to work out with Ted and as I said, some of the other coaches that were on that staff, like George [Boutselis], like Whitey [Dovell]. They were able to recommend me, Jerry Falls who my dad coached and who was Ted Marchibroda’s son’s coach in high school, so all those connections kind of helped me get started. Plus, I think the price was right."