The New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, 67, currently holds the record for the most Super Bowls wins as the head coach of an NFL team (six), but his career has had its ups and downs.
On Feb. 14, 1996, a then-43-year-old Belichick was let go as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns after five seasons. At the time, the Browns’ owner said the change was necessary “to get to the next level” as the team relocated to Baltimore to become the Ravens.
That’s when Belichick pitched himself to Jerry Jones, according to the Dallas Cowboys owner.
“I was renting skis for my grandkids,” Jones said on Dallas radio show 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday. “There was a line and I was sitting in the back and someone bumps up against me a few times. And I turn around and there was this guy that I couldn’t make [out] because he had ski stuff. But it was Bill.”
Jones said Belichick told him, “I can coach. If you ever get an opportunity, don’t forget about me.”
“Yeah, I was out in Snowmass [in Colorado]. I was out there with the family, and Jerry, he’s got on a white jacket with a blue star, coming off a couple Super Bowl victories out there,” Belichick said at a Patriots press conference Wednesday.
“Jerry and the Joneses have always been great to me. I always had a great relationship with them,” he added.
In ’96, Barry Switzer was the head coach for the Cowboys. But with Belichick’s success, Jones said the moment still replays in his mind more than 23 years later.
“I’ve thought about that many times. You never know where you can find a great coach. You can find them in a ski checkout line sometimes,” Jones said.
Belichick was hired by the Patriots to be the assistant head coach under head coach Bill Parcells on Feb. 16, 1996. In 1997, the Patriots went to Super Bowl XXXI but lost to the Green Bay Packers. The following year in 1997, Belichick signed with The New York Jets as assistant head coach for three seasons before becoming the head coach of Patriots in 2000.
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