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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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‘All good things have to come to an end’: Bill Belichick’s departure as Patriots’ head coach sparks mixed emotions among Bostonians

Former+New+England+Patriots+head+coach+Bill+Belichick.+After+24+seasons+and+six+Super+Bowl+titles%2C+Belichick+stepped+down+as+head+coach+earlier+this+year.+Photo+courtesy+Alexander+Jonesi%2C+flickr.
Alexander Jonesi
Former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. After 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles, Belichick stepped down as head coach earlier this year. Photo courtesy Alexander Jonesi, flickr.

Following a remarkable tenure spanning 24 seasons as the head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick announced Jan. 11 that he will no longer be serving as coach.

Belichick’s mark on the Patriots franchise proved indelible as he triumphantly captured six Super Bowl titles while steering the organization to a 266-121 record from 2000 to 2024. 

As the curtains fall on Belichick’s chapter with the team, Bostonians and New Englanders alike voiced mixed feelings about the future Hall of Famers departure. 

Belichick’s exit was hardly a surprise for many longtime fans like Brian Corcoran. In fact, it was highly anticipated.

“I wasn’t surprised by Belichick leaving. His time was up,” Corcoran said. “I think the decision to have Belichick leave was made after the game in Frankfurt, Germany, when the Pats lost 10-6 to the Indianapolis Colts. [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft wanted that to be a game where the Patriots showed out and his team failed to do that.” 

For Corcoran, despite the fond memories and unmatchable career Belichick gave New England, his ousting came at a time that was much needed — not just for the future success of the Patriots franchise, but for the future progression of a new generation of football. 

“I think we are better off without him. His time has come as head coach here and he’s run the course. Belichick is getting older, and he still has such an old-school coaching mindset,” Corcoran said. “It will be great to have someone bring in some new life — someone that can change the team’s culture and mentality.”

While many Bostonians believe a new era has come and Belichick’s departure was necessary, others feel more sentimental.  

“He is the whole centerpiece of the Patriots,” said Terrance Bush, a Boston resident and Patriots fan. “He has gotten [New England] a lot of victories and I feel it’s completely wrong for him to leave, especially after the terrible season we had this year.”

The New England Patriots finished 4-13 to conclude the 2023-2024 season, the worst record in Belichick’s 24 seasons as head coach and the worst record for the Patriots since 1992, when the team finished 2-14. 

The departure of Belichick evokes mixed emotions among many locals, including Patriots enthusiast Felyx Bertrand.

“I think it’s sad because he did a lot of great stuff for the Patriots. But at the same time, you can’t be as successful as he was and stay with the same team forever,” Bertrand said. “All good things have to come to an end, right?”

Bertrand believes that despite losing Belichick’s seasoned guidance and leadership, the Patriots have the opportunity to flourish.

“The Patriots will definitely be better off without Bill Belichick. Even though he did a lot of great things, sometimes change is needed to help a team further down the road,” Bertrand said. 

Longtime Boston sports fan John Grand also had conflicting sentiments concerning Belichick’s parting with New England. 

“I have mixed feelings about him leaving. He has done wonderful things for us historically and we have had over 20 incredible years with him,” Grand said. “However, in the last three or four years under him, we have gone from mediocre to really, really bad. Ultimately, I think we will be better off without him.” 

For Grand, it is hard not to reminisce about the unparalleled dynasty Belichick helped build. 

“For those of us who were around from 2000 to 2019, it was simply historical. I think all of us, myself included, will always think of him very fondly as the years go by,” Grand said. “Belichick gave us one of the greatest times to be a sports fan in Boston history.” 

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced Jan. 17 that Jerod Mayo, a former Patriots linebacker and the team’s linebacker coach, would replace Belichick as the head coach, making Mayo the 15th head coach in franchise history. 

Despite the difficulty of succeeding someone as successful as Belichick, many Bostonians are hopeful for this new era in Patriots history.

“I think Mayo is going to be just fine. He sounds like he’s a very bright man,” Grand said. “He has the experience as a defensive coach, so now we need someone who really knows the offense and who can select good offensive players in the draft.”

The new coming chapter of the Patriots organization is something that has already shown to be a step in the right direction. 

“I’m really excited about Jerod Mayo as head coach,” Corcoran said. “You could see that right after they named him head coach, how excited the Patriots players were for him, just by their reactions on Twitter and Instagram. He is someone that they want to play for and I think he could bring positive dividends to the team in the future.” 

About the Contributor
Juliette Piovoso, Deputy Campus Editor
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