By HCR Staff | Feb. 5, 2019
The Super Bowl LIII celebration wasn’t over yet when one of those celebrating, New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, was already starting a new job with a new team. As expected, Flores on Monday was named the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Flores is the ninth Bill Belichick assistant to become an NFL head coach. And while Belichick has now won six Super Bowls as a head coach and will go down as perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history, his NFL coaching tree is nowhere near as impressive.
Sure, Nick Saban went on to become one of the greatest college head coaches after his stint as Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns in the early ‘90s. But in his two seasons as an NFL head coach, Saban was two games under .500 with the Miami Dolphins.
Overall, the eight former Belichick assistants who have become NFL head coaches have a combined NFL record of 174-247. Current Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is the only one of the bunch to make the playoffs as head coach.
Of course, being in the same division with New England means Flores will face his former boss twice a year. For the record, Belichick owns a 16-8 record against his former assistants. He went 1-1 last season against the only other active head coaches from his tree – beating O’Brien and the Texans but losing to Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions.
Here’s a rundown of the Belichick NFL coaching tree that Flores is now a part of:
Romeo Crennel: Went 24-40 in four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, then 4-15 in one-plus seasons with Kansas City. Record vs. Belichick: 0-2
Al Groh: Went 9-7 in his only season as head coach of the New York Jets, but then chose to leave the NFL to become head coach of his alma mater, Virginia. Record vs. Belichick: 2-0
Josh McDaniels: The only one-time head coach on this list who is back with Belichick, the Patriots current offensive coordinator went 11-17 with the Denver Broncos – going 8-8 in 2009 and then getting released after a 3-9 start in 2010. McDaniels made news a year ago when he accepted the vacant Indianapolis Colts head coaching job but then abruptly backed out. Many believe McDaniels is now in place to take over for Belichick in New England when the latter eventually retires. Record vs. Belichick: 0-1
Eric Mangini: Went 23-26 in three seasons with the New York Jets, followed by 10-22 win two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Record vs. Belichick: 3-5
Nick Saban: Went 15-17 in two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, leaving there to take the Alabama job in 2007. Record vs. Belichick: 2-2
Jim Schwartz: The only one on this list who never actually coached under Belichick, Schwartz got his first NFL job as a personnel scout under Belichick in Cleveland. He quickly developed a reputation as a successful defensive coach in the mold of Belichick, eventually becoming head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2009. He compiled a 29-52 record in five seasons. Currently the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, Schwartz was in high demand after Super Bowl LII. Record vs. Belichick: 0-1
Bill O’Brien: O’Brien was an offensive assistant for the Patriots when they posted record-setting numbers in 2007, and he was offensive coordinator when the Patriots went back to the Super Bowl four years after that. After two years at Penn State, he took over as head coach of the Houston Texans in 2014 and has an overall record of 43-41 (including 1-3 in the playoffs). Record vs. Belichick: 0-5
Matt Patricia: Belichick’s former defensive coordinator went 6-10 in his rookie season as head coach of the Detroit Lions – but he can at least say that one of those six wins was against the Super Bowl champion Patriots. Record vs. Belichick: 1-0