Finally, after three years of planning Bill Belichick was able to receive a key to the city of Annapolis Saturday afternoon at the Army-Navy lacrosse game.
The Patriots head coach, who was accompanied by long-time girlfriend Linda Holliday, was honored at halftime of the game and was surprised by a few of his Annapolis High School classmates and teammates on the field for the ceremony.
“It feels so amazing to recognize a legendary figure in Coach Bill Belichick, who is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said, via the Baltimore Sun. “It’s the classic example of local boy made good. Coach Belichick got his start here in Annapolis then went on to do so many incredible things."
There was a two-minute video tribute for him which included interviews with a few high school teammates, Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo and former Navy player and current Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by your hometown. There’s nothing bigger than that. I’m so proud to be an Annapolitan,” Belichick said.
The 69-year-old admitted he was very surprised to see some of his childhood friends.
“That was amazing. Some of these guys I haven’t seen since I was living in Annapolis,” he said. “It’s great to be back in Annapolis, great to be here at this stadium and great to be watching Army-Navy lacrosse.”
Belichick also spoke to the Navy lacrosse team before the game.
“That gentleman walks in the locker room and the guys perk up. He was very intentional and deliberate about his comments,” coach Joe Amplo said.
The Patriots coach will now turn his attention towards the NFL Draft, which gets underway Thursday.