Tom Brady Writes Heartfelt Tribute to Departing Coach Bill Belichick
The New England Patriots are officially parting ways with head coach Bill Belichick after 24 seasons. During his tenure with with the team, the 71-year-old led the Patriots to a record six Super Bowl wins, 31 playoff wins, and 17 division championships. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Belichick had Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, on the team for most of his career with the Patriots.
And shortly after the news was confirmed on Thursday, the retired NFL player posted a tribute to his former coach in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL,” the 46-year-old started off his post. “He was a great leader for the organization, and for all of the players who played for him. We accomplished some amazing things over a long period of time, many of which will be hard to replicate. He worked every day to help us achieve the ultimate goal, in the ultimate team sport.”
“And, although we were successful, some of the greatest lessons I learned were in the moments where we faced the most challenging adversities,” Brady continued, noting that Belichick set the tone for the organization to never falter in the face of adversity, “and to do what we could do, and what was in our control, which was to go out and DO OUR JOB.”
“I could never have been the player I was without you Coach Belichick,” he added. “I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose next.”
Despite Belichick’s storied tenure, the franchise went into decline after Brady left the team for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2019 season. In the last four seasons the Patriots were 29–39, missing the playoffs in three out of the last four seasons. And unfortunately, his time ends on a sour note as the team landed in last place for the 2023 season for the first time since 2000.
The decision to part ways with Belichick was reportedly spearheaded by Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, who spoke out in an impassioned statement on Thursday.
“At heart, I will always be a sentimental sports fan,” Kraft said. “So, this is an emotional day for me. Some of my happiest and most memorable moments were celebrated with my family during BIll’s tenure here. I recognize that it is an emotional day for many, as it represents an end of an era, one that will always be celebrated in this region.”