Coaching runs three generations deep in the Belichick family.
Steve Belichick served as a backfield coach and scout for the Naval Academy from 1956 through 1989, and passed the profession onto his son, Bill Belichick, who is now in his 40th NFL season and his 14th as the New England Patriots head coach.
But the ties have continued beyond them. Bill’s daughter, Amanda, is now in her second year as head coach of Wesleyan University’s women’s lacrosse team. And his oldest son, Stephen, is in his third year as a coaching assistant for his father’s team.
It is, in many ways, a pipeline. And with the Patriots standing just three days away from the Super Bowl, the team’s head coach was asked about what it’s like to have one of his own taking part in it.
“You know, it’s great,” Bill said in his news conference Thursday. “It’s great. Stephen was pretty much away for six years with prep school, college, lacrosse, and then a year of football with Rutgers. So it’s great to have him back.”
For three years, Stephen was a starting at linebacker, fullback, tight end and long snapper at The Rivers School in Weston, Mass. He moved on to play college lacrosse for four years at Rutgers University from there, not long after his sister starred in the same sport at Wesleyan.
And in 2011, he stayed in Piscataway, N.J., for a fifth year, walking on to the Scarlet Knights’ football team as a snapper.
Stephen was looking to prepare for a future in coaching the game. Yet in doing so, he didn’t know he’d cross paths with many of the faces his father had and soon would. He found himself playing under head coach Greg Schiano and alongside the likes of receivers Mark Harrison and Tim Wright, defensive linemen Justin Francis and Scott Vallone, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, as well as defensive backs Brandon Jones, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan.
All eight players would go on to become members of the Patriots at one point in time. Wright, Harmon and Ryan still are. And in a different capacity, so is Stephen.
He joined the Patriots’ staff in 2012. And from the film room to the practice field, from the preseason opener to the Super Bowl, his long blonde hair draped behind a Patriots hat has been a constant.
“To see him on a daily basis and be able to work with him, but also have our father-son relationship kind of not as part of the working environment. The fact that we work together gives us a little more opportunity to do kind of things like that, so it’s great,” Bill said. “It’s great.”