Bill Belichick "amicably" stepped down as New England Patriots coach on Thursday, bringing an end to a decades-long reign that included an unparalleled six Super Bowl titles.
The 71-year-old, who collaborated with quarterback Tom Brady to create one of the longest winning streaks in NFL history, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft made the announcement during a press conference at Gillette Stadium.
Kraft stated that he and Belichick spoke on Wednesday and "mutually agreed to part ways amicably."
"I'm very proud that our partnership has lasted 24 years," Kraft remarked, standing beside his now-former head coach.
"It signifies the end of an era, which hopefully will always be remembered in our region.
The individual standing to my left provided the necessary leadership and coaching abilities to enable us to achieve such remarkable accomplishment."
"He's the greatest coach of all time which makes this decision to part ways so hard," Kraft said in a statement. "But this is a move that we mutually agreed that is needed at this time."
Belichick congratulated the Patriots' entire staff, both on and off the field, for their contributions to the team's victory.
"It was a great team effort and everybody put everything they had into it and that’s why we’re successful," he remarked.
Of course, many gratitude and appreciation to the players. Players win games in the NFL, and I've been extremely blessed to coach some of the greatest players."
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