Steve Belichick
File:Steve Belichick.png
Belichick in Yackety Yack 1954,
North Carolina yearbook
Sport(s)Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born(1919-01-07)January 7, 1919
Monessen, Pennsylvania
DiedNovember 19, 2005(2005-11-19) (aged 86)
Annapolis, Maryland
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall8–12–2 (football)
24–29 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
Case Western Reserve Hall of Fame (1976)[1]

Stephen Nickolas Belichick (Biličić) (January 7, 1919 – November 19, 2005) was an American football player, coach, and scout. He played college football at Western Reserve University, now known as Case Western Reserve University, from 1938 to 1940 and then in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions in 1941. After serving in World War II, Belichick began his coaching career. From 1946 to 1949, he was the head football coach and the head basketball coach at Hiram College. He continued on as an assistant coach in college football with stints at Vanderbilt University (1949–1952), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1953–1955), and then for 34 years at the United States Naval Academy (1956–1989).

Belichick's son, Bill, is the current head coach of the NFL's New England Patriots. His grandson, Stephen, is the team's current safeties coach.[2]

Playing career

After graduation from Struthers High School,[3] Belichick played college football at Western Reserve, now known as Case Western Reserve University, where he played at fullback. Most notably, he was a member of the 1938 team, who went a perfect 9–0, and the bowl-qualifying 1940 team, where he scored several touchdowns in his senior season.[4] During the school's first and only bowl game, the 1941 Sun Bowl victory over Arizona State, he scored the first touchdown of the game.

After graduation, he worked as an equipment manager for the Detroit Lions. The team was struggling, and Belichick reportedly told the coach, Bill Edwards, "I can do better than most of the guys you've got."[5] Edwards, who had coached Belichick at Western Reserve, agreed, and signed him as a player. Although the team's fortunes did not improve, Belichick had some success, scoring a 65-yard touchdown punt return in a loss against the New York Giants.[5]

During a portion of his military time during World War II, Belichick played for the successful 1942 Great Lakes Navy Bluejackets football team.[6]

Coaching and scouting career

In 1942, Belichick joined the United States Navy, serving in both Europe and the Pacific.[7] After he completed his service in 1946, he became the head coach at Hiram College, southeast of Cleveland.[3] In 1949, he left Hiram to become the backfield coach at Vanderbilt University,[8] where he spent two seasons before joining the University of North Carolina as an assistant to George Barclay in 1953.[9] Both the Vanderbilt and North Carolina coaching jobs were alongside Belichick's former collegiate and professional head football coach, Bill Edwards.

In 1956, Belichick joined the United States Naval Academy staff, where he served primarily as a scout for over 30 years. His book Football Scouting Methods (Ronald Press, 1962) became a standard, described by Charley Casserly as the best book on the subject he had read,[7] and by Bleacher Report as the "Bible" of football scouting.[10]


Steve Belichick was the youngest of five children born to Marija Barković and Ivan Biličić, who immigrated to the United States in 1897 from Draganić, Karlovac, Croatia and settled in Pennsylvania.[11][12][13] After their marriage, the couple changed their names legally to Mary and John Belichick, reportedly at the suggestion of Immigration Center.[12] In 1924, the family moved to Struthers, Ohio, where Steve Belichick maintained strong ties with the local Croatian community.[13] In 1951, he married Jeannette Ruth Munn, with whom he had one child, Bill.[7][14] Their son is currently the head coach of the New England Patriots and has cited his father, with whom he began analyzing game film at the age of 10, as his chief early influence.[15]


Located inside the Wyant Field House at DiSanto Field in Cleveland, the 4500-square foot Steve Belichick Varsity Weight Room is utilized by the Case Western Reserve Spartans football team.[16] Belichick was inducted into the Case Western Reserve University Athletics Hall of Fame for both football and basketball in 1976.[17]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Hiram Terriers (Independent) (1946–1948)
1946 Hiram 5–3
1947 Hiram 2–4–1
1948 Hiram 1–5–1
Hiram: 8–12–2
Total: 8–12–2
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Stephen Belichick. "Stephen Belichick - Case Western Reserve profile". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  2. Reiss, Mike (March 18, 2016). "Steve Belichick promoted to Patriots safeties coach". ESPN. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Belichick named Hiram grid coach". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press (Ohio): p. 10. June 17, 1946.
  4. "WESTERN RESERVE WINS; Upsets Boston University, 19-0 -Booth Goes 95 and 39 Yards". The New York Times ( November 3, 1940.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Daley, Arthur (November 10, 1941). "Leemans is Star of 20-13 Triumph". The New York Times (
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NYT051121
  8. "Steve Belichick Quits To Accept New Post". The Hartford Courant ( February 23, 1949.
  9. "Belichick in Coaching Shift". The New York Times ( April 5, 1953.
  10. Michael Schottey (2012-02-23). "The 11 Football Books Any True Student of the Game Must Read". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BG051121
  12. 12.0 12.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named jutarnji070222
  13. 13.0 13.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nacional081029
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SI050216
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WP050128
  16. "The Observer: NFL coach donates funding for construction of north side field house". 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  17. Stephen Belichick. "Stephen Belichick - Case Western Reserve profile". Retrieved 2017-01-15.

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