The New England Patriots named former linebacker Jerod Mayo as their new head coach after Bill Belichick stepped down from the position Thursday.
Mayo, 37, was tipped to lead the team after Belichick formally stepped down from his position as the Patriot’s head coach on Thursday after 24 seasons with the team. Mayo is the 15th head coach in franchise history, the first black head coach, and the youngest person coaching in the NFL, according to ESPN.
He’ll officially be introduced in the third week of January 2024, but we all know Mayo learned from the best, so hopefully this will be a seamless transition that brings the Patriots back to their most recent glory days under Tom Brady.
It’s a new era in New England: the Patriots have hired Jerod Mayo as their next head coach and he will be formally introduced at a press conference next week, a source tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/SeHKoAonrP
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2024
The team was apparently able to ignore the traditional hiring practices within the NFL and immediately named Mayo as the new head coach because he was always going into the position. The Patriots apparently established a “succession plan” in Mayo’s contract extension, signed during the last offseason.
“I feel like I’m prepared. I feel like I’m ready,” Mayo said in early January, according to ESPN. “I feel like I can talk to men, women, old, young, white, black — it doesn’t matter. And hopefully develop those people into upstanding citizens and help them evolve. That’s how I think about it. I feel like my calling is to develop.”
Mayo played for the Patriots throughout his entire career, appearing in 103 games and reaching 905 tackles. He briefly worked in finance after retiring in 2015, before returning to his team.
“I coach out of love. Once you build that relationship with a guy, you can be tough on the players,” he concluded. “But if you don’t have that warmth before confidence; it was a little different when I played. Whatever the coach told you to do, you just go out and do it. But this generation is a little bit different. They want to understand the ‘why.’”
The team will also be hiring a new general manager to work with Mayo, according to NBC Sports.