Before boarding the Patriots' charter flight to Phoenix, former Patriots great Gino Cappelletti reflected on the late Mike Holovak, who passed away today at the age of 88.
“In the second year of the franchise, Mike took over as head coach after five games, and I'll never forget -- from that day, the morale went sky high among the players," Cappelletti recalled in a phone interview. "As a coach, he had the ability to really have you believe in yourself. Having been a player himself, and a good one, he just seemed to know how to get the most out of his players. I know personally that he was so instrumental in whatever successes I enjoyed as a player. I forever will be grateful for that."
Cappelletti remembered Holovak as a true professional.
“He was the most genuine gentleman I think you could ever know, a true gentleman," he said. "Try to picture a coach who never swore. He never used any form of profanity in front of us. I don’t think he did it with anyone. He was a guy who could express himself without having to swear. That was one thing I always liked about him. He had a strong concern for each player as an individual. He was very loyal to the players who played for years with him, and because of that, it was very difficult for him to release them when he thought their playing days are over. I think that gives you an idea of the inner person."