Bill Belichick calls Jets’ departure “one of the great moments of my career”

Sport

Bill Belichick might have had as much success with the Jets as he has had with the Patriots. Maybe not. No one will ever know because Belichick stepped down as the Jets’ head coach the day of his introduction in 2000.

He broke the news to team officials by writing, “I resign as HC of the NYJ” on a piece of paper.

While it ranks as one of the worst days in Jets’ history, Belichick remembers it fondly.

“That was one of the not only most defining, but one of the great moments of my career,” Belichick said Tuesday in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI, via ESPN. “That combined with Robert [Kraft] giving me the opportunity to come here, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Belichick has won six Super Bowls as the Patriots’ head coach since they traded with the Jets for him 21 seasons ago. The Jets have had six head coaches, one division title and six postseason appearances since Belichick’s resignation.

“That wasn’t a good situation for me, and I didn’t want to be a part of it, so I wasn’t,” Belichick said. “The other half was Robert giving me the opportunity to come here [to New England]. Trading, he gave up quite a bit for me to come here. That was a big trade. I’m very thankful that it worked out.

“I appreciate all the support from Robert, the Kraft family, the Patriots organization, and all the New England fans. I’ll keep trying to do my best for this team, and this organization, giving the very best that I can. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come here, and I just wasn’t going to stay there in that situation.”

The rest, of course, is history.