The Leader of Not so Many Words Going into his tenth season as Head Coach for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick holds one of the best records in NFL history. Born on April 16, 1952 in Nashville, TN Belichick has been with the National Football League for over thirty years. The mysterious head coach was raised in Annapolis, MD where his father Steve was a The Navel Academy football coach for thirty- three years. A high school graduate of Annapolis High, Bill went on to Phillips Academy, followed by Wesleyan University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1975.
Throughout his academic years at Wesleyan, he thrived in sports like lacrosse, football, and squash. After graduating from Wesleyan in 1975, Belichick took a position as a special assistant to the Head Coach of (Defense and Special Teams) for the Baltimore Colts. Since that position he has gone onto such positions as Defensive Coordinator, Special Teams, Linebackers Coach, Offensive Assistant, Receivers Coach, Assistant Head Coach, and Head Coach.
In 1996 Belichick joined the Patriots as the Assistant Head Coach and played a large role in their Super bowl XXXI win over Green Bay, after a ten year lag.
Since his reign as Head Coach for New England starting in 2000, he has led the franchise to the victory of three Super bowl Championships within a four year span, a record that only he holds in NFL history. Belichick has the education and extensive experience to be a great leader. Although it is hard to determine what specific styles may be used by Belichick with his team on the inside, it seems safe to assume that he incorporates all three methods of leadership styles within the Army Leadership Handbook.
There are certainly times where he expresses his intentions for the season with the team and explains how he plans to accomplish them. He works with the assistant coaches, the players, and the franchise owner directly to eliminate any potential threats against the team’s weaknesses. He also delegates to the assistant coaches and players to improve on problematic plays and even improve current plays that are already in great shape. By using all these leadership styles, it is no wonder why Belichick led the team to a record 16-0 regular season in 2007.
However, many would say that Belichick has an arrogant personality and his mannerism is lacking the charm of other great leaders. His elusive expression during his accomplishments with the Patriots has made it nearly impossible for the media to adore him as a leader. His personality has had an extensive impact over the way many people perceive his leadership. That same elusive expression is also what sets him aside from others. Author of The Education of a Coach, David Halberstam was quoted saying “But one of the things that sets him apart is the control of the ego.
It is used only for the improvement of his team, never for the promotion or celebration of self…that’s a very important distinction. He is really the unadorned man. What he wants is respect and that’s what he gets…I don’t think it’s fun for him, I think he gets great satisfaction by doing what he believes is the right way to coach with the right emphasis on team and being successful at the [highest] level. ” This is a man who truly enjoys what he does everyday and wants to lead his team and other teams to feel the same way he does about football.
He has won several awards including an Espy Award in 2004 for Best Coach/Manager, but still maintains a calm, but confident, collective, but individualizing, and decisive, approach. Belichick is one of the most mysterious coaches in the NFL, but has won many games, titles, and championships in his thirty-five years of coaching. What makes him great is his ability to refrain from being egotistical in this media crazed society and his ever so elusive expression that tells the world he doesn’t care what they think of him as long as his team is getting the credit they deserve for their accomplishments.
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