Bill Belichick to depart New England Patriots after 24 seasons


(BOSTON) — Coach Bill Belichick is parting ways with the New England Patriots after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles, he announced at a press conference Thursday.

Belichick, who became head coach of the NFL team in 2000, told reporters he and team owner Robert Kraft “after a series of discussions, have mutually agreed to part ways.”

“We had a vision of building a championship football team here and that’s exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations,” Belichick said “The amount of success we were able to achieve together through a lot of hard work and contributions of so many people, I’m very proud of that.”

Kraft thanked Belichick during the presser, calling their relationship “like a good marriage.” He added, “The man standing to my left brought the leadership and coaching skills that were needed to make this type of unprecedented success that we have had possible. Coach Belichick will forever be celebrated as a legendary sports icon here in New England.”

Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who played 20 seasons in the NFL under Belichick, called him “the best coach in the history of the NFL.”

“He was a great leader for the organization, and for all of the players who played for him,” Brady said in a statement on Facebook. “We accomplished some amazing things over a long period of time, many of which will be hard to replicate.”

Belichick’s departure from the franchise brings to a close one of the most storied chapters in the National Football League’s history. The news of his exit was first reported by ESPN.

He leaves New England with 333 career victories, ranking second behind Don Shula at 347, according to ESPN. Belichick’s 24-year tenure was the fifth-longest of any head coach with a single team.

With the Patriots’ 2018 Super Bowl win, Belichick joined George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only NFL coaches to have netted six championships, according to his official profile.

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