Bill Belichick is known for winning five Super Bowls in nine appearances as head coach of the New England Patriots. But, long before his winning ways with Tom Brady and crew, Belichick’s college roots in Connecticut helped to develop the successful coach we see today.
“I realized here that there are so many talented people at this school that you could draw from their talents to make yourself a better person or resolve a problem and that’s what I have taken into coaching,” Belichick said in a video provided by Wesleyan University, where he graduated in 1975.
While at Wesleyan University, Belichick lettered in football, lacrosse and squash. It was his experience on the lacrosse team that gave some a glimpse into the future.
“He was captain of the lacrosse team,” said Mike Whalen, Wesleyan’s Athletic Director and a friend of Belichick. “Coach Jackson still tells stories today of when Belichick was a junior or senior he would be on the sidelines drawing up plays and talking to his teammates about where he should be on the field. He was much more a coach on the field than a player.”
Belichick has gone on to super success in the NFL, but hasn’t forgotten about his college days and lessons he learned in Middletown.
“Having a great college experience is a phenomenal part of four years of your life,” he said.
Belichick says his Wesleyan buddies are his closest friends to this day. He has often returned to campus to motivate current football players there to excel and to support fundraisers to help his college roots grow.
Everyone at Wesleyan hopes the next time he returns it will be with Super Bowl ring number six.
“That’s pretty special,” Whalen said. “To have someone who doesn’t forget his roots that stays connected to Wesleyan speaks volumes about how much he thinks of the university and the impact that the university had on his life.”