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Belichick, Carroll, Saban: Three Football Leaders End Their Terms as Head Coaches

By Jash Mody

Throughout all sports, coaches play a crucial role in building their championship teams, developing players and making game-changing decisions. Given this, team owners take the position of head coach as a highly prestigious role and ensure the best person is there for the job. However, in the past several months, the NFL has seen many changes in the coaching role. Particularly, historical and well-seasoned coaches like Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Pete Caroll have all parted ways with their team. Hanging up championship banners, and crafting consistent success for their respective organizations, these three coaches have made significant contributions to NFL history.

  An end to an era of triumphant leaders ...

Bill Belichick, after serving 24 years with the New England Patriots, has parted ways with the organization as of January 11, 2024. Belichick has been widely known for his championship strength and winning record. His win to loss ratio is 333-178 and won six Super Bowl championships in his time coaching. Many players consider him the greatest coach of all time; Tom Brady asserts, “I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL”

Students believe that his departure may be due to a variety of factors, including the downfall of the New England Patriots dynasty, conflict with owner Robert Kraft, or desire for a change of scenery. The Patriots ended the 2023-2024 with a record of 4-13, the poorest record of Bill Belichick’s tenure as a head coach. He publicly expressed interest in continuing as a coach for other teams; however, he still has not been hired for a position. The parting ways of Bill and the Patriots organization has led to conflicting opinions within football fans. Some consider the decision to leave as being beneficial to the Patriots organization, while others see it as the end of a dynastic era, leaving them in a state of demise. 

“I believe Bill’s [Belichick] departure from the Patriots was an intelligent decision as he was terrible in drafting offensive weapons and his stubborn behavior was leading to the patriots poor performance. He and Kraft did not get along; there was no need to stay. Now they can start from scratch and rebuild for the future,” sophomore Jay Shah said.  

“Belichick was the face of the franchise,” junior Devan Shah said. “Together with Brady, they formed a duo that everyone either feared or loved. After Brady’s departure, I still had hope that the Patriots would find their way. But, Belichick just couldn’t get it done all by himself. It’s sad to see him leave because he embodied the essence of being a complete head coach.”

Pete Carroll served as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks for the past 14 NFL seasons. He nurtured distinguished players of the franchise like Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Additionally, he led the Legion of Boom, a nickname for the Seahawks secondary (section of defense) that led them to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 2014 and 2015, with a victory in 2014. This squad was composed of All-Pro first team members Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, along with All-Pro second player Kam Chancellor; they were accompanied by other defensive stars such as All-Pro first team linebacker Bobby Wagner and Pro Bowler Michael Bennet. Carroll’s renown for his accomplishments in the blue and green; his defense techniques and quarterback nurturing left an imprint on the Seahawks organization. Fans speculate Carroll’s departure is a result of recent team struggles. The Seahawks haven’t had a top 20 defense in five years, and similar to Belichick, this past season has been the worst of his career. 

“I love Seattle and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for Pete as a coach,” junior Dilraj Chahal said. “He won us a Super Bowl, led my favorite defense of all time and my favorite quarterback of all time, Russel Wilson. However, I trust that this was the right decision as things have been slow the last few seasons.”

Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Bill Belichick (left), Nick Saban (center) and Pete Carroll (right) end their tenures as head football coaches for their respective teams, making history for each team.

Nick Saban, the former coach for the University of Alabama, has also announced that he will no longer serve as coach which leaves college football fans astonished.

“Nick Saban is the greatest coach of all time,” junior Naman Maniar said. “He had so much success season by season in Alabama. He by far led and developed the greatest players.” 

Saban served as Alabama's Head coach for 17 years. Throughout his career, he won six national championships in Alabama and coached four Heisman-winning players. The four Heisman players he coached are all current NFL stars like Derrick Henry, DeVonta Smith, Bryce Young, and Mark Ingram. He became the first college coach to win a national championship with two different Football Subdivision Schools and one of the only people to win an SEC championship in two different schools. His record as a college football head coach was 292-71-1. Not only a shift in power dynamic within Crimson Tide football, Saban’s departure from coaching will impact the landscape of college football. Saban’s reason for retirement was because he felt it would be unfair to the players for him to continue, as this past season was difficult from a health standpoint. Throughout his coaching, he expected 100% effort and care for the sport from his players and Saban feels it’s fair for him to do the same. 

Upon these recent losses to college and professional football, fans recollect the decades of dynasties built and championships hoisted. An end to an era of triumphant leaders marks the new beginning of three faithful franchises.


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