Jerod Mayo, long favored to be Bill Belichick’s replacement, was named the head coach of the New England Patriots. The move comes just a day after the organization parted ways with Belichick, who spent 24 years at the helm and won six Super Bowls.
Mayo, 37, will become the NFL’s youngest active head coach. He is New England’s first Black head coach, and will be one of five Black HCs in the league. Mayo becomes the 15th head coach in the franchise’s history.
The Patriots drafted Mayo 10th overall in 2008 out of Tennessee. The linebacker won Defensive Rookie of the Year, two Super Bowls and was selected to two Pro Bowls during his eight seasons in Foxborough. He recorded 905 tackles.
Mayo joined Belichick’s staff in 2019. New England established a succession plan in the contract extension that Mayo signed last offseason, allowing the team to skip the standard hiring process and immediately install him as head coach.
“Well, he’s definitely a strong candidate to be the heir apparent, but we have some other good people in our system,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NFL Network in March.
There was some speculation that the Patriots could have targeted another former player — Mike Vrabel, who was recently fired by the Tennessee Titans.