MINNEAPOLIS — Bill Belichick’s love for football and lacrosse is well documented, but the Patriots head coach was a letterwinner in a lesser known college sport, too.
While a student at Wesleyan, Belichick played varsity squash — an indoor racquet sport traditionally played as singles competition at the university level.
Although he still frequently picks up the lacrosse stick, and is obviously involved with football on daily basis, Belichick told Boston.com that he hasn’t played a lot of squash since graduating from Wesleyan in 1975.
“I played a lot of squash when I was a kid,” he said on Super Bowl LII Opening Night. “It’s a great sport, a great cardio sport. And even though it’s kind of an individual game, there’s also a big team component, but you wouldn’t necessarily think that way watching from the outside.”
Belichick also gave a shoutout to Trinity men’s squash coach Paul Assaiante for both “what he’s done at Trinity” and “what he’s done for the sport of squash.” From 1998 to 2012, Assaiante led the Bantams to 13 straight national championships and a stretch of 252 wins — the longest consecutive winning streak of any college sport.
“I think he’s done a great job developing not only his teams, but his players,” Belichick said. “I follow squash closely through him. I wasn’t a very good player, but I had fun playing.”
As for parallels between squash and football? The seven-time Super Bowl champion doesn’t think there are many outside of the general themes of competition, motivation, and sportsmanship.
“Squash, you got to stay out of the way of the ball,” he said. “I don’t think that’s really the idea in football. You kind of want to get in the way of the ball.”