The Naval Academy is getting a boost to its football education from two men who have known the game well.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is donating to the academy’s athletic association more than 400 football books and hundreds of periodicals he and his late father, a former Naval Academy coach, collected over the past half century.

“My father and I often discussed consolidating our collections and making them available for others to enjoy,” Belichick said in a statement. “Because of our ties to the Naval Academy and the Annapolis area, they will now have a perfect new home.”

Steve Belichick was an assistant coach and taught physical education at the Naval Academy from 1956-1989. He died of heart failure last November at age 86.

The elder Belichick began collecting football-related books in the 1950s. As a college football scout, he would also scout local bookstores around the country. His son picked up the hobby in the 1970s.

The collection includes periodicals dating back to the 1890s and classic works such as Amos Alonzo Stagg’s “Practical Theses on Football,” Walter Camp’s “American Football” and Bob Zuppke’s “Football Techniques and Tactics.”

Chet Gladchuk, the Naval Academy’s athletics director, said the Belichicks have touched the lives of thousands of midshipmen over the years.

“Football and leadership go hand in hand and the Belichick Collection will assist in educating many to the benefits that come from a better understanding of a game and profession that has inspired fans of all ages,” he said in a statement.

AP-ES-10-12-06 1745EDT

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