ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Those in attendance at Steve Belichick’s funeral Wednesday spoke repeatedly of his three loves: his family, football and the United States Naval Academy.

Belichick, who died Saturday at 86 at his Annapolis-area home, had been associated with the academy’s football program for 50 years, 33 as an assistant coach and scout.

He was the father of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick said sharing his Super Bowl titles with his father were among the most joyous moments they had together.

“Almost 75 years of football gave him a vast knowledge and reverence historically for the game that very few could match,” said Belichick. “He coached everything, and his ability to teach and interact with people has really come back to me in my lifetime and in the last few days.”

About 200 people attended the memorial service at the academy chapel, including Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, and Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. Also in attendance were coaches, players and career naval officers for whom the elder Belichick had been a coach or mentor over the years.

“He had three great loves in his life: football, his family and this school, and he was fully committed and attentive to each every day of his life,” said former Naval Academy superintendent Tom Lynch. “I was one of thousands of midshipmen to pass through this man’s life … It was only many years later when reflecting on the values, commitment and genuine concern Steve expressed for each of us, that I began to realize and appreciate the impact he had on our lives.”

“He exudes what the academy is all about,” said Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk. “It is a gray day in Annapolis today.”

Steve Belichick was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and the University of North Carolina before coming to the Naval Academy in 1956. Known for his expert scouting techniques, he wrote “Football Scouting Methods” in 1960.


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