In late February, reports out out of Foxboro indicated that New England Patriots character coach Jack Easterby was leaving the organization after six years. His contract reportedly expired following the 2018 season and after New England’s 13-3 victory in the Super Bowl earlier that same month. The team chaplain, who also led the club’s weekly bible study, was expected to pursue other career opportunities moving forward.
Now, it looks as if he found them: according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Houston Texans have hired Easterby as their new executive vice president of team development. Hiring Easterby is a very good move for the team led by former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. After all, Easterby played a key part in helping New England win its last three championships and was credited by multiple players as a big influence.
The neo-Texan had originally joined the Patriots in 2013 after serving in a similar role with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars before that. Over the course of his career, he also worked outside of the NFL as character coach for the University of South Carolina as well as a keynote speaker for multiple church and community events — all while also working with team building projects in the NBA and in college sports.
How the Patriots will try to replace Easterby, who did not have an assistant in his role as character and team development coach in New England, remains to be seen at this point in time. The club itself already has some strong leadership on its roster as it stands right now, though, with team captains Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty as prime examples. While neither will take on an additional role, their veteran presence should help make the transition from Easterby to his eventual successor a smoother one.