Bill Belichick has been called the finest tactician in the NFL coaching ranks. He will be entering his 13th season as head coach of the New England Patriots in 2012. His second campaign culminated in a Super Bowl title during the 2001 season as did his fourth in 2003 and his fifth in 2004. He is one of only four NFL head coaches to own three Super Bowl rings and the only one to capture three titles in a four-year span. He led the Patriots to the AFC semi-finals as champions of the AFC East in 2005 and led them back to the Super Bowl after the 2007 season with the only 16-0 regular-season record in NFL history. He was head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-95 following a successful 12-year stint as an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants. That included two Super Bowl wins as the Giants' defensive coordinator. Bill rejoined his former head coach in New York, Bill Parcells, as assistant head coach for the New England Patriots for the 1996 season. He also served as associate head coach with the New York Jets for three seasons (1997-99).
Beginning his NFL career as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Colts in 1975, Bill moved to the Detroit Lions in 1976, remaining there for two seasons before spending a year in the Denver Broncos organization before moving on the the New York Giants in 1979. He has been an NFL coach now for 31 straight years. At Wesleyan, Bill was a football, squash and lacrosse letterwinner, serving as a team captain for the 1975 lacrosse squad, and majored in economics.
On campus for his 20th reunion in 1995, Bill spoke at a panel, describing his experience in the NFL. Returning to Middletown for Commencement in May, 2002, Bill received Wesleyan's Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, the highest honor awarded by the alumni body for extraordinary service to the University and to the public interest. He also spoke to a group of prospective students and their parents during WesFest in April, 2004 and stayed to watch his daughter Amanda '07 play in a women's lacrosse game. During Wesleyan's 2005 Commencement, Bill received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater and in May, 2008, he became one of the inaugural members of Wesleyan's newly established Athletics Hall of Fame.