By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
HOUSTON (CBS) — Coaching in the Super Bowl is a glorious thing.
Watching tape at 11 p.m. on a day when you got work at 8 a.m., while making peanuts for salary? Not quite as glamorous.
That is, however, what is required to make it as a football coach, particularly in the NFL, and particularly with the New England Patriots. And it’s why Bill Belichick — perhaps the greatest football coach to ever live — tried to do the same thing that his own father did many years ago.
He tried to keep his children away from coaching.
They all ignored him.
“Well, I got some advice from my dad and I passed that along to my kids. My dad’s advice was, ‘Don’t get into coaching,'” Belichick shared Wednesday in Houston.
Belichick has the privilege now of working both of his sons, as Steve Belichick is the team’s safety coach in his fifth year with the team, while Brian Belichick is in his first year as a scouting assistant. The 64-year-old Belichick said last week that it’s special to be able to work with both sons. And Belichick’s daughter, Amanda, is the head women’s lacrosse coach at Holy Cross.
The fact that they’ve followed in their father’s footsteps after he advised against the long hours and the low pay is no coincidence, as it’s exactly what Bill did when his father said the same after working more than four decades as a coach and scout.
Bill shared his father’s wisdom with a laugh, and then explained how and why his children are in the profession.
“What I have always said to my kids or really any young people that have asked me that question is, follow your heart. Do what your passion is. Don’t just take a job because, whatever, it pays a little more money. Just do what you want to do. Live out your dreams and try to achieve them,” Belichick said. “[My children] are in what they do because that’s what they want to do. It’s not my decision. I don’t try to guide them into it, I don’t try to guide them out of it. I try to help them the best I can, like any father would try to do for his children.”
After being told about that advice to avoid coaching, Steve Belichick said he doesn’t remember hearing that message.
“I tried to ignore some of that stuff from my teenage years,” Steve said.
So, in a sense, it was an act of defiance that led to Steve following Bill’s own career path.
“Yeah,” Steve said with his father’s dry wit, “he’s the one who gave me a job. So … .”
Steve was asked how he caught “the coaching bug.”
“I didn’t catch it. I was born with it,” Steve said. “I don’t really look at it as I wanted to be a coach. It’s just, I love being on a team. Football is the ultimate team game. There’s nothing like it. I’m not good enough to play, so I guess I had to coach.”
Obviously, Steve is happy where he is, and likely what bonds Bill, Steve, Brian and Amanda the most is an admiration for the patriarch of the family.
“I can’t even put into words how much my grandfather has meant to me,” Steve said. “He just was an extraordinary example for me. I’m honored to be named after him. He was a tremendous man, and I just can’t say enough good things about my grandfather.”
While the elder Steve may have told a young Bill to avoid the profession at all costs, he’d no doubt be feeling a great amount of family pride at this moment in time.