Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Jerod Mayo announced as new head coach for the New England Patriots

Illustration+Rachel+Choi
Rachel Choi
Illustration Rachel Choi

Following a disappointing season with four wins and 13 losses, the New England Patriots parted ways with long-time Coach Bill Belichick and announced Jared Mayo as the team’s new lead.

After 24 seasons with the New England Patriots, Belichick is handing off his reign to Mayo. The Patriots announced this change during a Jan. 17 press conference at Gillette Stadium. As the Patriots’ off-season has recently begun, Mayo and fellow staff are looking into rebuilding their roster in preparation for the 2024 season.

Mayo spent his entire professional football career with the Patriots after being drafted 10th overall in 2008 from the University of Tennessee. The former linebacker played a total of 103 games in his NFL career, racking up 905 tackles. Mayo was also Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, and recognized with Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors during his career. He retired in 2015 and served as vice president of Business Development at Optum, an American healthcare services provider, before returning to the Patriots in 2019 as inside linebacker coach. 

Now, with this new position, Mayo is making history by becoming the first black head coach in franchise history. 

“You’d better believe being the first Black [head] coach here in New England means a lot to me … I do see color because I believe if you don’t see color, you can’t see racism,” Mayo told ESPN in an interview.

Mayo also said he will strive to establish a more collaborative team environment. According to ESPN, he said that Belichick had been able to handle the flow of information by himself, all without much room for collaboration between him and the players. Mayo believes that direct communication with all members of the organization and maintaining a joint effort with those who make up the team is a huge part of what makes a franchise like the Patriots successful.

“I’m in the learning phase, whether that’s learning from the scouts, coaches, the Kraft family, even the media,” Mayo said to ESPN. “I want to hopefully just improve the overall vibe.” 

Mayo and Kraft are also working closely together to establish a leader for their personnel department to work closely with the director of player personnel and director of pro scouting. They are leaning on people already in positions within this department but are ultimately keeping their options open. 

“We have a lot of people internally who have had a chance to learn under the greatest coach of all time and a man whose football intellect is very special,” said Kraft in reference to Belichick.

Belichick ended his coaching career with 333 career victories and six Super Bowl wins with the Patriots. He completed his 49th consecutive season in 2023, the most for any coach in NFL history. 

“This is a move that we mutually agreed is needed at this time,” Kraft said at the Jan. 17 press conference. “What Bill accomplished, in my opinion, will never be duplicated,” according to ESPN.

Tom Brady, retired quarterback of the New England Patriots, honored Belichick in an Instagram post.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL,” Brady said.

In his post, Brady said that he never could have been the player he was without Belichick’s guidance and hard work. 

“He set the tone for the organization to never falter in the face of adversity, and to do what we could do, and what was in our control, which was to go out and DO OUR JOB,” Brady said. 

Rob Gronkowski, retired tight end for the Pats, also paid tribute to Belichick’s career via social media.

“It was an honor to be on your team and thank you for putting us players in situations to have serious success! You are the best to ever do it Coach,” Gronkowski said.

The Patriots have the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, putting them in a position to add premium talent to the team. 

“We’re going to take the best available player for the biggest need on the team; offensive line, receiver, quarterback—pick your [choice],” Mayo said in an interview with WEEI.

The Patriots organization has set high expectations for themselves as they gear up for some serious change next season. Many are hopeful that under this new leadership, Mayo can lead the Pats to the playoffs and improve the Patriots organization overall.

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About the Contributor
Rylie Burns, Layout Editor
Rylie Burns (she/her) is a freshman journalism major from Danvers, MA, and currently serves as the layout editor for the Berkeley Beacon. Rylie wrote for her high school newspaper and served as editor-in-chief of the yearbook. She is also an active participant in WEBN both on and off the camera. Other than reporting, Rylie enjoys dancing, choreographing, reading, and looking at pictures of her goldendoodle, Brodie.

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