Bill Belichick alongside Josh McDaniels Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (left) and head coach Bill Belichick (right) walk off the field following the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is widely regarded as one of if not the single greatest coach in NFL history. But those who have coached under Belichick ultimately haven’t had all that much success after leaving for head coaching opportunities of their own.

12 of Belichick’s assistants have gone on to become NFL head coaches. And of those coaches, less than half have managed to hold onto their head coaching gig for more than three years at one spot.

Most notably perhaps have been Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, who famously ended up back in New England after their failed head coaching tenures.

According to an ESPN report, Belichick’s failures to mentor his assistant coaches and prepare them for the future was an area of concern for Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank this offseason when he was considering hiring Belichick to become the Falcons’ new head coach.

Blank reportedly asked Belichick why so many of his assistants had ultimately failed to find any success as head coaches after leaving his side.

His answer was a pretty harsh one, saying that he felt his assistants were “better soldiers than generals.”

To be fair to Belichick, not all of his former assistants experienced no success as head coaches. Bill O’Brien did at least lead the Houston Texans to multiple postseason appearances during his stint with the team. And Nick Saban of course ended up becoming one of the greatest collegiate coaches of all time with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Simply put, not everyone is cut out to be an NFL head coach, But still, it is a bit of a stain on Belichick’s legendary resume as the head coach of the Patriots.


About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.