Bill Belichick talked about his experience during Annapolis High School integration

"That was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life."

Bill Belichick New England Patriots
Bill Belichick in Miami in Dec. 2017. –AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Bill Belichick elaborated on the subject of integration, which he witnessed first hand in the 1960s at Annapolis High School.

“That was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life, even though it was hard at the time,” Belichick recalled in an interview on WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Keefe.

In football terms, Belichick remembered how sports played an important role in shaping greater change.

“I had a great coach, a great football coach,” Belichick said of longtime Annapolis coach Al Laramore. “He was totally color blind. The team was color blind, and our relationships actually strengthened the school because there was no barrier in sports and that transferred over to other students.”

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Laramore, who coached three state champions in three different sports, was cited by Belichick as a major influence in his early life. In a 1991 letter read at the dedication of a field at the Maryland school in Laramore’s honor, Belichick said he owed his high school coach “a great deal”:

“There have been but a select few individuals in my lifetime who have gone out of their way to generously provide the counsel and support which proved beneficial in guiding and shaping my career,” said Belichick. “Al Laramore is one of those choice few. I owe him a great deal.”