What Bill Belichick Learned From His First Job in Pro Football

Belichick started with a staff assistant position with the Baltimore Colts in 1975

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at Patriots minicamp. (Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe via Getty)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at Patriots minicamp. (Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe via Getty)
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Before he was a coaching legend with eight Super Bowl rings and a guaranteed spot in Canton once his career is done, Bill Belichick was a lowly staff assistant with the Baltimore Colts making a salary of $25 per week.

Hired in 1975 at the age of 23, Belichick was a special assistant to head coach Ted Marchibroda (the only individual to serve as head coach with both of Baltimore’s NFL teams), good training for eventually working under the omnipresent Bill Parcells.

While working under Marchibroda, who also coached the Colts in Indianapolis in addition to the Ravens in Baltimore, Belichick learned a lot about preparation and work ethic as opposed to just X’s and O’s.

It also helped instill a mantra that Patriots fans know well: one day at a time.

“We were 1-4 and won our next nine straight. It was a young team that got off to a slow start, but we gained our confidence, and it taught me a great lesson in football of just keep working, keep fighting, just one day at a time,” Belichick told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Don’t worry about the record at the end of the year. Just have a good day, have another good day, win this week, and then move on to the next week. That’s what we did in 1975.”

Belichick also shared he learned to have confidence in himself and his football team from watching the way Marchibroda would call games from the sideline.

“Even when it was fourth-and-17, he was always sure we were going to make the play or do what we need to do. He was such a great person for me,” Belichick said. “I lived with Ted. We stayed in the same hotel, drove him to work every day, drove him home every day. We had our staff meetings in the car. We ate breakfast together. He was such a mentor.”

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