Bill Belichick

‘The Patriots and Bill Belichick have mutually agreed to part ways': Read the release

The two sides agreed Thursday to end their 24-year marriage

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick announced that they had mutually agreed to part ways at a press conference Thursday. It didn't come as a huge surprise after the Patriots finished 4-13 this season with their loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, followed by days of speculation about Belichick's future.

Just as Thursday's 12 p.m. press conference with Kraft and Belichick was getting underway, the Patriots put out their official press release announcing the coach's departure.

You can read the full release below:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick have mutually agreed to part ways, concluding his 24-year tenure as head coach of the Patriots. In 24 seasons with New England, Belichick delivered six Super Bowl titles, nine conference championships, 17 division crowns (with 2002 and 2008 lost on tiebreakers), including 11 consecutive division titles and 30 playoff victories.

Belichick, who was hired as the 14th head coach of the Patriots on Jan. 27, 2000, is the only head coach in NFL history with six Super Bowl titles. He joins Hall of Fame coaches George Halas and Culy Lambeau as the only NFL coaches with six championships since the league began postseason play in 1933. He owns the second-most wins overall with 333 total victories and led the Patriots to a winning record for 19 consecutive seasons (2001-19), behind only Dallas' Tom Landry, who recorded 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1965 through 1985. Belichick has also notched 31 postseason wins in his career, the most by a head coach in NFL history. His 44 postseason appearances are also a record among all head coaches. In addition, he was the head coach in 511 games, second only to the 526 by Don Shula.

He re-joined the Patriots in 2000 after three seasons as the assistant head coach and secondary coach of the New York Jets (1997-99). Belichick spent five seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1991-95) and compiled a 37-45 overall record, including a wild card victory over the Patriots in 1994. During the 1994 season, the Browns allowed an NFL-low 204 points which set a Cleveland Browns 16-game record and was the sixth best performance since the NFL went to the 16-game schedule in 1978.

Belichick began his coaching career in 1975 as a special assistant to then-Baltimore head coach Ted Marchibroda. A year later he joined the Detroit Lions as an assistant special teams coach and then instructed Lions' tight ends and receivers. In 1978 he joined the Denver Broncos as assistant special teams coach and assistant to defensive coordinator Joel Collier. Belichick moved to the New York Giants in 1979 and served as a defensive assistant and special teams coach on Ray Perkins' staff. He drew added responsibility of instructing the Giants' linebackers from 1981-82. In 1983, he began coordinating the defense and continued instructing what would become one of the most dominant linebacker units of all-time. In 1985, he was officially appointed as the team's defensive coordinator, a position he held for six seasons, including the 1986 Super Bowl season. In 1990, the N.Y. Giants won their second NFL title in four years.

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