Patriots head coach Bill Belichick took some time out of draft preparation on Saturday to receive the biggest honor in his hometown.
Belichick received a key to the City of Annapolis, Maryland, where he was raised as a child. To put an even sweeter touch on it for Belichick, the ceremony was held during halftime of Saturday’s Army-Navy lacrosse game.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by your hometown,” Belichick said. “There’s nothing bigger than that. I’m so proud to be an Annapolitan.”
— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) April 24, 2021
Belichick was joined by several of his high school friends plus football and lacrosse teammates from his playing days at Saturday’s event.
“That was amazing,” Belichick told reporters of seeing his longtime friends on Saturday. “Some of these guys I haven’t seen since I was living in Annapolis. It’s great to be back in Annapolis, great to be here at this stadium and great to be watching Army-Navy lacrosse.”
Prior to receiving the key to the city, a video tribute was played for Belichick that included a clip of Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, who’s also a Navy alum, according to the Baltimore Sun. Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley presented Belichick with a key to the city afterward.
“It feels so amazing to recognize a legendary figure in Coach Bill Belichick, who is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met,” Buckley said. “It’s the classic example of local boy made good. Coach Belichick got his start here in Annapolis then went on to do so many incredible things.
“At every step along the way, he never forgot his hometown. He sells the City of Annapolis all over the world, and I’m just thrilled that today we were able to recognize that.”
Belichick, who was born in Nashville, moved with his family to Annapolis just a couple of years after his birth when his father, Steven, received an assistant coaching job for Navy’s football team. Belichick’s often cited spending time around his dad during those years as a major influence as to why he became a coach.
Prior to the game, Belichick spoke to the players on Navy’s lacrosse team. The day ended with Belichick seeing his hometown team win, with Navy defeating Army 9-4.
“Just an awesome game, which is exactly what you would expect,” Belichick said. “Both teams are playing it all out on the field. They’re playing like everything depends on it and it does.”
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