Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Belichick proud of daughter's path
By Field Yates
PHILADELPHIA -- With training camp in full force, Patriots players and coaches are locked in on the task at hand of preparing for the upcoming regular season.
But there has been recent news off the football field that has impacted head coach Bill Belichick, who is no longer the only head coach in his family.
His daughter Amanda, the eldest of his three children, was formally named the head coach of the women's lacrosse team at Wesleyan University, the alma mater the father and daughter share (Bill class of '75, Amanda '07).
Amanda arrives at Wesleyan after three previous coaching stops, most recently as an assistant at Ohio State, where she helped to oversee the offense.
"I'm so proud of her," Belichick said Tuesday before the Patriots' practiced with the Eagles in Philadelphia. "She blazed her own trail in women's lacrosse -- Choate, UMass, three years at Ohio State -- and I'm excited to have her back close to home and [to have] a head coaching opportunity I know she's really looking forward to."
All three of the Belichick children have coaching ties, as Steve, 26, is a coaching assistant on his father's staff, while Brian, 21, is spending training camp working with the team, as he's done in recent summers as well.
For Amanda, Wesleyan marks the second opportunity for her to oversee a program, as she also served as the head coach at Choate, a secondary school in Wallingford, Conn. The Cardinals, members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), finished 5-10 last season.
"I know she really enjoyed the head coaching experience at Choate for two years, and then she just learned so much at UMass and Ohio State," Bill said. "I think she's ready for it, she thinks she's ready for it. I know it'll be a big challenge, but I'm sure she'll face it and I'm very proud that she's doing it."
Though the sports are different, the elder Belichick said that he and his daughter have been able to exchange coaching ideas and insights during her ascension to her current post.
"We definitely talk about each other's teams and try to -- from time-to-time things come up that we talk about," he said. "They're quite different sports and genders, but coaching is coaching, and communicating and working with players and motivating your team -- there's a lot of common ground there. We do it, we do it quite a bit."
While Amanda is still in the early stages of her coaching career, she's already been able to teach her father some things, too.
"She's probably got a little more patience than I do with some things," he said with a smile.
Amanda takes over a program she once was a standout player for, as she captained the team during her senior season at Wesleyan in 2007.
On a differing and somber note, Belichick looked back on the life of Art Donovan, the longtime Baltimore Colt and NFL Hall of Famer who passed away on Sunday.
"When I grew up as a kid in Annapolis, the Colts were -- they were the team," Belichick said. "That defensive line of Donovan and Big Daddy [Eugene] Lipscomb, Gino Marchetti, Ordell Braase, and all the great teams they had on offense, [Johnny] Unitas, [Raymond] Berry, Lenny Moore and all those guys, but Donovan was kind of the character."
Donovan, known for his personality during his post-playing career, had kept in touch with Belichick throughout the years.
"He was a little bit of the personality of the team," Belichick said. "I had dinner with him a couple of years ago at [John's Hopkins men's lacrosse coach] Dave Pietramala's house, with Art and his son. He hadn't changed a bit, he was still 80 years old or whatever, [but he] could knock out stories and reminisce about the old times like it was just a couple of years ago. He was quite a character."
Few individuals mixed a balanced blend of both ability on the field and charisma and personality off of it, but Belichick said Donovan, a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1950's, fit that mold.
"He's in the Hall of Fame when it comes to that," he said.