If you had to build a word cloud to describe Bill Belichick, three that would not be missing are “Annapolis,” “Navy,” and “lacrosse.” Later this month, the three will eventually come together as one in honor of the New England Patriots’ head coach: as was announced by the Naval Academy earlier this week, Belichick will be awarded the Key to the City of Annapolis on March 14. At a Navy game. At a Navy lacrosse game.
The event couldn’t be more perfect, unless Jon Bon Jovi for some reason sang the National Anthem before the game.
“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by Mayor Buckley and the City of Annapolis,” Belichick said in a statement about receiving the honor. ”I would like to thank Admiral Buck and Chet Gladchuk for allowing me to receive the key in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. I loved the years I spent growing up in Annapolis and at the Naval Academy and I always look forward to returning. I am proud to be an Annapolitan!”
Belichick, who is entering his 21st season as head coach of the Patriots and won six Super Bowls with the organization, grew up in Annapolis and played both football and lacrosse at a local high school. At the time, his late father Steve worked in numerous roles — from coach, to scout, to physical education instructor — at the Naval Academy. Belichick’s mother, Jeannette, is still living in the city, meanwhile.
“I simply love the fact that the winningest coach in NFL history comes back to Annapolis to watch college lacrosse. There is something about this City that keeps people grounded and I’d like to think that growing up here played a role in the success he has found throughout his life,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said in his own statement about presenting Belichick with the Key to the City next Saturday. “ Welcome back coach!”
“Coach Belichick has always embraced the community and Academy family with a sincere and warm appreciation for the lifelong experiences he enjoyed growing up in his hometown,” Navy’s lacrosse coach, Chet Gladchuck, added. “It remains wonderful that the Coach continues to call Annapolis his home and what more fitting tribute than a key to the City being extended by our Mayor.”