(Foxborough) The New England Patriots have chosen Jerod Mayo to succeed Bill Belichick.
On Friday afternoon, the club made it official that Mayo became the 15th head coach in their history.
The Patriots also announced that they would hold a press conference on Wednesday to present Mayo to the media.
Mayo played eight seasons in the NFL. He won the Super Bowl with the Patriots in February 2015.
He was an assistant to Belichick since 2019, primarily as linebackers coach.
The hiring comes a day after Belichick agreed to move on from a 24-year run, including six Super Bowl victories.
Mayo moved to the top of the list when the Pats announced in early 2023 that they were extending his contract long-term.
Mayo and Belichick’s son Steve, also assigned to linebackers, had been in charge of defensive calls for the Patriots for two years.
Despite New England’s 4-13 record this season, the defense has remained highly ranked in several categories. We did well despite losing linebacker Matt Judon and cornerback Christian Gonzalez to season-ending injuries.
Mayo, 37, has interviewed for several head coaching positions in Philadelphia and Carolina over the past two years.
In announcing Belichick’s decision Thursday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft promised to move quickly to try to fill the position.
Kraft said the next coach’s tenure would be a return to the playoffs for a team that has been absent in three of the last four seasons.
The club has not won a playoff game since its Super Bowl triumph in February 2019.
“We’re looking for someone who can help us get back to the playoffs and win,” Kraft said. Believe me, after my family, this team is truly one of the two most important assets in my life.
“I get very upset when we don’t win, and it lasts all week. I promise you that I will do my best to make sure we are in the best long-term position, to win for many years to come. »
Earlier this month, Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley said the club’s players already have a lot of respect for Mayo.
“The players really like him,” he said. He gets the most out of his protégés, he acts in the direction of the culture that is established. He knows how to make all staff efficient. »
Mayo is not expected to have the same control over personnel matters that Belichick had for most of his stint.
In addition to being a coach, Belichick also served as the de facto general manager of the team.
Kraft pointed out that Belichick was only given this power after winning his third Super Bowl with the team, following the 2004 season, and that Belichick “earned it and it worked out pretty well, most of the time “.
That means hiring a new CEO, or a senior management shakeup, will likely be Kraft’s next priority.
“I think it’s good to have a system where you’re accountable,” Kraft said.