Steve Belichick

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Steve Belichick
Steve Belichick.png
Belichick pictured in Yackety Yack 1954, North Carolina yearbook
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1919-01-07)January 7, 1919
Monessen, Pennsylvania
Died November 19, 2005(2005-11-19) (aged 86)
Annapolis, Maryland
Playing career

Western Reserve
Detroit Lions
Position(s) Fullback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)


Vanderbilt (backfield)
North Carolina (backfield)
Navy (backfield/scout)

Head coaching record
Overall 8–12–2 (football)
24–29 (basketball)

Stephen Nickolas "Steve" Belichick (January 7, 1919 – November 19, 2005) was an American football player, coach, and scout. He played college football at Western Reserve University from 1938 to 1940 and then in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions in 1941.

After serving in World War II, Belichick began his coaching career. From 1946 to 1949, he was the head football coach and the head basketball coach at Hiram College. He continued on as an assistant coach in college football with stints at Vanderbilt University (1949–1952), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1953–1955), and then for 34 years at the United States Naval Academy (1956–1989).

Belichick's son, Bill, is the current head coach of the NFL's New England Patriots.

Playing career[edit]

Belichick attended Western Reserve University, where he played at fullback, scoring several touchdowns for the team in his senior season in 1940.[1]

After graduation, he worked as an equipment manager for the Detroit Lions. The team was struggling, and Belichick reportedly told the coach, Bill Edwards, "I can do better than most of the guys you've got."[2] Edwards, who had coached Belichick at Western Reserve, agreed, and signed him as a player. Though the team's fortunes did not improve, Belichick had some success, scoring a 65-yard touchdown punt return in a loss against the New York Giants.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

In 1942, Belichick joined the United States Navy, serving in both Europe and the Pacific.[3]

He returned to football when he completed his service, becoming the head coach at Hiram College. In 1949, he left Hiram to become the backfield coach at Vanderbilt University,[4] where he spent two seasons before joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an assistant to George Barclay in 1953.[5]

In 1956, Belichick joined the United States Naval Academy staff, where he served primarily as a scout for over 30 years. His book Football Scouting Methods (Ronald Press, 1962) became a standard, described by Charley Casserly as the best book on the subject he had read,[3] and by Bleacher Report as the "Bible" of football scouting.[6]


Steve Belichick was the youngest of five children born to Marija (Mary) Barković and Ivan (later John) Biličić, who immigrated to the United States in 1897 from Draganić, Karlovac County in Croatia.[7][8][9] In 1951, he married Jeannette Ruth (Munn), with whom he had one child, Bill.[3][10] Their son is currently the head coach of the New England Patriots and has cited his father, with whom he began analyzing game film at the age of 10, as his chief early influence.[11]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Hiram Terriers (Independent) (1946–1948)
1946 Hiram 5–3
1947 Hiram 2–4–1
1948 Hiram 1–5–1
Hiram: 8–12–2
Total: 8–12–2


  1. ^ "WESTERN RESERVE WINS; Upsets Boston University, 19-0 -Booth Goes 95 and 39 Yards". The New York Times ( November 3, 1940. 
  2. ^ a b Daley, Arthur (November 10, 1941). "Leemans is Star of 20-13 Triumph". The New York Times ( 
  3. ^ a b c Litsky, Frank (November 21, 2005). "Steve Belichick, 86, Coach Who Wrote the Book on Scouting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Steve Belichick Quits To Accept New Post". The Hartford Courant ( February 23, 1949. 
  5. ^ "Belichick in Coaching Shift". The New York Times ( April 5, 1953. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ryan, Bob (November 21, 2005). "Belichick learned well from dad". Boston Globe. 
  8. ^ "Bill Belichick: Djed iz Draganića uvijek mi je pričao o Hrvatskoj" [My grandfather from Draganić always told me about Croatia] (in Croatian). Jutarnji list. February 22, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ Martinovic, Ratko (October 28, 2012). "Loš PR u dijaspori - Koje su svjetski poznate osobe podrijetlom Hrvati, a da to niste ni znali" [World celebrities with Croatian roots]. (in Croatian). Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  10. ^ King, Peter (February 16, 2005). "This Is The Way It's Supposed To Be". Sports Illustrated. 
  11. ^ Shapiro, Leonard (January 28, 2005). "For Belichick, Father Truly Knew Best". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 

External links[edit]