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Patriots character coach Jack Easterby is leaving the team after six seasons

New England is losing one of its key figures.

New England Patriots Arrive In Minneapolis For Super Bowl LII Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

When listing the most important members of the New England Patriots franchise over the last few years, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the first that come to mind , followed by other players, assistant coaches, ownership, and the front office. Chances are that Jack Easterby’s name would not come up for quite some time considering that the role of “character coach/team development” lacks the prominence of others in the organization.

However, Easterby played a key part in helping the Patriots win their last three championships and was credited by multiple players as a big influence — from team captain Matthew Slater to wide receiver Josh Gordon to 2018 in-season acquisition Albert McClellan, who had to say the following about him in the week leading up to Super Bowl 53: “Just talking with him day-in and day-out made [coming to New England] a little bit easier.”

Now, according to a report by the Boston Globe’s Nora Princiotti and Ben Volin, Easterby is leaving the Patriots after six years with the club. His contract reportedly expired following the 2018 season and after New England’s 13-3 victory in early February’s Super Bowl. The team chaplain, who also led the club’s weekly bible study, is expected to pursue other career opportunities moving forward.

Easterby joined the Patriots in 2013 after serving in a similar role with the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Before that, the South Carolina native worked for the Jacksonville Jaguars as assistant director of football operations as well as character coach for the University of South Carolina — all while serving as a keynote speaker for multiple church and community events, and working with team building projects in the NBA and in college sports.