Latest Belichick Lax Connections: Petro Pregame, Meade Phone Call
The fact that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick keeps his private life private is a well-known theme in the NFL circles. But the lacrosse world, by now, knows of one of Belichick's passions outside of football, his deep connection and love of lacrosse, and propensity to pop up at a game or two during the spring.
Amanda Belichick, Bill's daugther, is an assistant coach for the Ohio State women's team, which starts its regular season Feb. 11 against new Division I program San Diego State. Son Stephen finished his Rutgers playing career last year.
A Boston Globe article by Bob Hohler sheds some more insight on Bill Belichick's connection to the game in advance of Super Bowl XLVI between the Patriots and the New York Giants on Sunday in Indianapolis.
A few new nuggets:
- Two weeks ago, Johns Hopkins men's coach Dave Pietramala spent the hours before the Baltimore Ravens-Patriots AFC championship sitting in Belichick's office as he prepared for the game. The two have a close relationship, and Belichick has attended several Blue Jay game, including last year's rivalry game against Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park. Belichick looked to Pietramala for advice in 2007 after Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill died in a jet ski accident. Two years earlier, one of Pietramala’s players, Matt Stoffel, had died in a car crash.
- Belichick reached out to former Navy coach Richie Meade at the end of last season, offering help if Meade wanted to pursue the open men's coaching job at Rutgers, where one of Belichick's children, Stephen, played the previous four seasons. Meade was a friend of Belichick's father. ‘‘Out of the blue, Bill calls me and says, ‘Hey Richie, the Rutgers job is open. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to use me,’ ’’ Meade said.
The Patriots opposition on Sunday has at least one lacrosse connection, too. Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, an inspiring cancer survivor who has been profiled on "60 Minutes" and in The New York Times, said in an extended interview with Lacrosse Magazine's Matt Forman that lacrosse was his "go-to sport" growing up.
Herzlich, coming out of Conestoga (Pa.) High, had an offer from -- guess who? Pietramala -- to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins. How's that for Three Degrees of Lacrosse Separation on Super Bowl Sunday?