Back in 2009, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that he wouldn't be coaching into his 70s. He didn't want to be like Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy, who ran the Buffalo Bills until he retired at 72 years old. However, Belichick recently walked back that previous statement, opening the door for him to continue coaching for much longer than he previously expected.
Now 67 years old, Belichick was reminded of this statement during a Monday appearance on WEEI. Is he still set on walking away from the game prior to turning 70, or will he be reevaluating the situation? As it turns out, Belichick simply views the situation quite differently a decade removed from the previous comments.
"When I said it, maybe I didn't know what 70 felt like. So not really sure if that's an accurate statement," Belichick said on Monday.
Considering that Belichick earned his 300th win on Sunday, becoming the third coach in history to achieve this feat, it's becoming more likely that he will be leading the Patriots well into his 70s. He only needs to win 48 more games to pass Don Shula (former Dolphins coach) for the most wins in NFL history. To pass both George Halas (324 wins) and Shula, Belichick will have to coach to the age of 70 – and possibly older – depending on the team's ability to stack wins.
With eight more games left in the 2019 regular season, as well as another three possible in the postseason, Belichick will draw closer to Halas. Although winning the 11 remaining games would require the Patriots going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl, which is something the team nearly achieved back in 2007.
Belichick originally started his head coaching career with the Cleveland Browns (1991-1995), leading the team to the playoffs once and achieving a win-loss record of 36-44. He was fired by the Browns following the 1995 season and news breaking about the team moving to Baltimore to become the Ravens. He didn't become a head coach again until the year 2000.
Since joining the Patriots at the turn of the millennium, Belichick has led the Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances with six Super Bowl wins. He's been named Coach of the Year three separate times (2003, 2007 and 2010) and was named to the 2000s All-Decade Team. His tenure started slowly with a record of only 5-11, but Belichick quickly turned the team around and won Super Bowl XXXVI at the end of the 2001 season.