Bill Belichick quit today as coach of the New York Jets, one day after being elevated to the job when Bill Parcells resigned.
Belichick insisted he is not burned out after 25 years in pro coaching, but he said the uncertainty surrounding his place in the organization dictated his decision.
"I just don't feel I can lead the Jets in the year 2000," he said in a stunning announcement at the Jets' training complex in Hempstead, N.Y. "I just know what I need to do. I just don't feel I can do it right now."
"It is not about the future, it is about the situation I am in now," he added.
Belichick was Parcells' handpicked successor when both came from the Patriots to the Jets in 1997. When Parcells said on Monday he would turn over the football end of the franchise to Belichick, he certainly had no idea his defensive coordinator would not want the job.
"Bill Belichick will make all football decisions," Parcells said then.
Obviously, Belichick felt otherwise.
"I just can't do it with the conviction, confidence and certainty that is needed to get the job done," he said.
Bill Belichick shocked the world
when he resigned as head
coach of the New York Jets Tuesday.(AP)
"I just can't do what I need to do here," Belichick said. "There are a lot of unanswered questions here. I have been concerned about it since Leon Hess died (in May). I had no clear direction of where I am going in the organization."
"I took Bill's words to heart, thought about it last night," added Belichick, who was Cleveland's head coach from 1991-95, going 37-45. "All I can deal with is the situation I have at hand and that is what I am doing. It is not about trying to get out of a contract or leveraging a contract."
Belichick, 47, also could have been a candidate for the New England coaching job that opened Monday when Pete Carroll was fired. The Patriots contacted the Jets by fax to seek permission to talk to Belichick. But permission was denied because he already had been elevated to head coach.
He said he would like to determine his career course. Asked ihe wanted to coach next year, Belichick said, "I haven't really thought about it."
On Monday, Parcells said he couldn't make the commitment needed to return for a fourth season as Jets coach. He turned around the franchise that was 3-13 and 1-15 under Rich Kotite, but was 9-7, 12-4 with a loss in the AFC title game, and 8-8 despite a slew of injuries.
The Jets won their final four games and closed 7-2 after a 1-6 start, which seemed to re-energize Parcells. Instead, he decided to stop coaching.
Now, with Belichick quitting, it leaves the franchise in turmoil. A new owner will be selected this month, there is no head coach and Parcells wants to run the front office.
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