Historically, Belichick’s Coaching Tree Has Been Suspect. Flores Could Change That.

Miami Dolphins’ new HC tries to avoid becoming another highly-touted failure under Belichick’s, but history’s not on his side.  

The inevitable occurred on Monday and Brian Flores was officially named new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. By now, the world is getting to know the ex-Patriots defensive play-caller that hit a potent Rams offense in the gut, holding the team to  3 points in Super Bowl 53.

Flores, 37, is the latest in a long line of young, impressive coordinators that have risen through the ranks under six-time Super Bowl -winning HC Bill Belichick and offered head coaching jobs. Miami Dolphins brass feels Flores’ hire represents a new culture and bright future for a franchise that has been trying to get back to elite status for decades now.

We don’t know how many games Flores will win, but he knows how to finesse a defense.

First Things First on Twitter

We need to be the first show to stop saying ‘Belichick.’ Brian Flores ran the show. Belichick wasn’t calling that defense, we’re just gonna give him credit for everything? Sean McVay didn’t adjust to what Brian Flores was doing.” – @criscarter80 https://t.co/jwRHzqu4gj

Problem is, history is not on his side.

Bill Belichick, considered the greatest teacher in the sport, has a personal NFL coaching tree success that doesn’t reflect the lessons learned in his pupils. His former assistants have a combined NFL coaching record of  173-242, which is a winning percentage of .416. If Flores ever wins more than 11 games or advances to the Super Bowl or even an AFC Championship game, he will become the first Belichick assistant to do so.


Bill Belichick’s Coaching Tree

Al Groh (9-7, .563)

New York Jets, 2000

Groh spent one year on Belichick Browns’ staff and then became the Jets’ coach when Belichick resigned after one day as Bill Parcells’ successor. Groh left the Jets a year later to become head coach at Virginia, his alma mater.


Bill O’Brien (42-38)

Houston Texans, 2014

O’Brien worked on the Patriots’ staff from 2007 to 2011.

Greg Rajan on Twitter

Since Bill O’Brien became #Texans coach in 2014, seven different franchises have made the Super Bowl. Texans have a 1-10 record against those teams during that span. https://t.co/kfGy51iKY7

He’s won two AFC South titles and just earned a contract extension through but he’s 1-3 in the playoffs including a loss to the Colts in this year’s AFC Wild Card game.


Eric Mangini (33-47, .479)

New York Jets, 2006 and Cleveland Browns in 2009

Another young coach that came up under Belichick and was touted as a genius. Mangini was a defensive assistant under Belichick with the Browns and Patriots, rising to defensive coordinator with New England in 2005.

After an average stint with the Jets, Mangini was hired by the Cleveland Browns in 2009 and that was terrible as well. Mangini went 5-11 in each of his two seasons with the Browns.


Nick Saban (15-17, .469)

Miami Dolphins, 2005

Saban was defensive coordinator for the Browns under Belichick from 1991 until 1994. He quickly found out in a brief stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins that he was more suited to become the Bill Belichick of college football, building Alabama into an iconic modern program.

David Furones on Twitter

A little tough to hear, but Nick Saban talking about his time at Miami Dolphins coach. “I found out maybe I was a little more suited to be a college coach.” https://t.co/nCSMmfnGod


Josh McDaniels (11-17, .393)

Denver Broncos, 2009

Belichick ties: McDaniels, who has been a part of six Super Bowl Teams with the Patriots had been a Patriots assistant since 2001, rising to the level of offensive coordinator before Denver hired him.

He was Sean McVay before Sean McVay became the latest hot, young coach. Josh McDaniels was fired before the end of his second season in Denver and hasn’t been a head coach since.


Romeo Crennel (28-55)

Cleveland Browns, 2005, Kansas City in 2011. Crennel was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator under Belichick from 2001 to 2004.

Despite a losing overall record and never making the playoffs, Crennel’s claim to fame is that he’s the most recent Browns coach to win more than nine games in a season with the team, going 10-6 in 2007.

He got another shot with the Kansas City Chiefs, taking over in the final three games of 2011 and going 4-15 in less than two seasons before being fired.


Jim Schwartz (29-51, .363)

Detroit Lions, 2009

Schwartz worked as a scout under Belichick with the Browns from 1993-95 and in 2009 he was hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions. Schwartz was 29-51 in five seasons with the Lions and made the playoffs once, losing in a 2011 Wild Card game to New Orleans in his only ddouble-digitwin season (10-6).


Matt Patricia (6-10)

Detroit Lions, 2018

Patricia served 14 seasons as an assistant coach under Belichick with the New England Patriots, including six seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017.

He was one of the most coveted young talents of last season’s coaching carousel and took over a Lions team coming off a 9-7 season. Patricia struggled on the field and with getting to practices on time. His 6-10 record fell well short of expectations and he was lucky to survive Black Monday.

Detroit Lions on Twitter

THE DAILY DRIVE: #Lions’ Matt Patricia had rough season, ex-player preaches patience: https://t.co/FlGrpDUqkh

Now it’s Flores’ turn to leave the nest and try to establish a winning culture elsewhere, using all of the knowledge and genius that Belichick has imparted to him.

Success is far from automatic and before Flores can think about winning big, he needs to settle his quarterback situation in Miami. That’s always a career killer when a young coach steps into a position with a suspect QB. Those are details that need to be worked out in the future.

For now, Flores, 37 is the next coordinator up to try and put some speck’ on Belichick’s name as a mentor. While Bill is the master technician and the hardest guy in the business to out-strategize, his disciples don’t seem to be picking up enough game. Hopefully, Flores changes that.

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