Bill Belichick Never Coached a Game For The New York Jets

Published on July 22nd, 2022 1:30 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Football League. Here is an interesting bit of football history:

Bill Belichick was officially the head coach of the New York Jets TWICE but never actually coached a game.

In February of 1997, Belichick was named as the interim head coach of the Jets while the Jets and Patriots worked out compensation to allow Parcells to become the head coach of the Jets. Parcells was eventually let out of his deal, and Belichick became the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

After Bill Parcells stepped down as head coach at the end of the 1999 season, Bill Belichick was named as the new head coach of the Jets. This had always been the plan, as Belichick was always going to succeed Parcells.


On January 3rd, 2000, the Jets announced that Belichick was to be the new head coach of the team.

On January 4th, 2000, Belichick had quit the job.


On the afternoon of January 4th, 2000, Bill Belichick scribbled a note on a napkin that said "I resign as HC of the NYJ" and handed it to team officials.

After that, with players and executives in attendance, Belichick gave a speech in which he announced he was leaving the team and wouldn't be serving as the head coach.

A short while later, Belichick would be announced as the new head coach of the New England Patriots, and the rest is history. The Jets cried foul to the league, claiming that Belichick was under contract, and the league agreed, awarding the Jets a first-round pick for compensation.


So what happened? Why did Bill Belichick have a sudden change of heart?

The breakdown seems to have started when the owner of the Jets, Leon Hess, passed away in May of 1999.

It is thought that the deal was for Bill Belichick to have complete control of the team when Bill Parcells stepped down. With the death of the owner, this was thought to have been thrown out the window.

Bill Parcells stepped down as head coach, though he would serve as general manager of the Jets in 2000. Did Belichick step down because he wouldn't have complete control of the team, due to Parcells still serving as the general manager? Were promises made to Belichick that were no longer going to be honored by the team?

It's worth noting that when the Patriots hired Belichick, they gave him almost complete control over the team's football operations. It stands to reason that Belichick left the Jets because he wanted this type of control.

Pro-Belichick supporters will say that promises were made to Belichick that weren't honored.


In the end, the move worked out very nicely for Belichick, while the Jets franchise continues to struggle.

Jets fans will never forgive Belichick for what he did, and some of the former members of the Jets remain angry about the situation and how Belichick handled it.

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