Former Browns head coach Bill Belichick used to work for free

Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches of all time but the former Cleveland Browns head coach once worked for free simply to get experience

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

Bill Belichick has been with the New England Patriots for so long that it's hard to remember he got his first NFL head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. What could be even harder to grasp is that he once even worked for free.

Belichick began his coaching career way back in 1975 with the Baltimore Colts. At the time, he worked under Ted Marchibroda and while it was said he made $25 per week, Belichick corrected that notion.

In a recent interview with The 33rd Team, Belichick said he actually worked for free just to gain experience under Marchibroda. He then said he was promoted to $25 per week.

He added that while he was with the Browns, there were those who did the same and worked with him for free. He then proceeded to list names of coaches that turned their experiences into head coaching gigs — although he didn't say these were necessarily the guys who worked for free at any point.


Belichick coaching tree from the Cleveland Browns

Belichick was the head coach in Cleveland from 1991 through 1995 and had some small success but overall, it wasn't what he hoped it would be. He did, however, have a few coaches on his staff who went on to make names for themselves.

Al Groh

Al Groh coached linebackers in 1992 and then went on to be an assistant in New England. He also coached the New York Jets under Bill Parcells before becoming the head coach in 2000. Ironically enough, he only got that job when Belichick backed out after initially taking the position.

Eric Mangini

The first NFL job for Eric Mangini was in 1995 under Belichick. He served as an offensive assistant for one year and then followed the franchise to Baltimore. He found his way back to Belichick in 2000 and was the Jets head coach from 2006 through 2008.

He returned to Cleveland and was the head coach in 2009 and 2010.

Nick Saban

The most successful coach to ever work for Belichick is easily Nick Saban. Cleveland's defensive coordinator from 1991 through 1995, Saban left with Belichick did. He then went to Michigan State and LSU before making an attempt at the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

Saban has since returned to the NCAA and is still the Alabama head coach. He's arguably the best collegiate coach of all time, owning a record if 280-69-1 with seven National Championships.

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