Coaching runs deep in the Belichick family. Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, has three children from his first wife, Debby Clarke, and all thee have followed their father into coaching. His daughter, Amanda, is the oldest and is the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Amanda’s brothers are Stephen and Brian. Stephen is an assistant coach for the Patriots and has been the safeties coach since 2016. Brian, who played lacrosse at Trinity College, is a scouting assistant for the Patriots.
Amanda, 32, graduated from Wesleyan University, the same university her father attended, in 2007. Since then, she’s worked almost exclusively as a college women’s lacrosse coach.
Here is what you need to know:
1. She Never Thought She’d Follow Her Father Into Coaching
In a 2013 interview with the Hartford Courant, Amanda said she never wanted to go into coaching. he had a history degree from Wesleyan and interned for advertising and marketing companies. But her coach at Wesleyan, Holly Wheeler, thought Amanda had a gift.
“I remember sitting with her and her telling me I’d be a great coach,” Amanda told the Courant. “I was like, no. Absolutely not.”
After 14 seasons at Wesleyan, Wheeler resigned. Amanda was hired to replace her.
“To have the opportunity to lead something you care so much about is exciting,” she told the Courant. “I have a lot of respect and pride in this program. I think the most important thing is that I had an incredible four years here. It’s really important for me to give the players the same incredible experience.”
Amanda told the paper that she’s proud to be Belichick’s daughter, and knows that the family has a knack for instilling confidence in people. “Giving people confidence is such a huge piece for me. I’m proud of everything — him, his success, and hopefully my successes follow. But I understand that’s part of the deal: Wherever I go, that’s the name that’s following me, and I’m happy to talk about it. I’m proud of it,” she said.
After graduating in 2007, Amanda first worked as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before returning to her alma mater to coach. Since July 2015, she’s been the head women’s lacrosse coach at Holy Cross.
2. Belichick Says His Daughter ‘Paved Her Own Way’ as a Coach
Belichick doesn’t want to take any credit for his daughter’s own success. In 2010, he told Boston.com that his daughter “paved her own way.”
“She always worked really hard,” Belichick told the outlet. “Her lacrosse career is her lacrosse career, not mine. She paved her own way. I’m really proud of that. I’m just glad she’s happy with what she’s doing.”
Belichick refused to grade his daughter’s coaching ability and noted that lacrosse is really different compared to football.
“In football you go back to the huddle after every play,” Belichick said in 2010. “In hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer you keep playing, so you don’t get as many set plays.”
Amanda said that her father isn’t even the first person she calls and isn’t “my rock as a coach.”
“I don’t think I’ve earned anything because of who my dad is. This is about my hard work,” she told Boston.com.
3. She Married A.J. DeSantis in July 2017
Amanda Belichick married in A.J. DeSantis, on July 8, 2017, two year after getting engaged, according to their wedding website. Their ceremony and subsequent reception were both held at Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, Rhode Island.
In an interview with Worcester Magazine in December 2015, Amanda revealed that her then-fiance works in New Haven, Connecticut, and she had to split time between living there and living in Worcester. Their plan, at that time, was to eventually move down to New Haven full time.
In that same interview, Amanda said that she feels like a juggler at times, since she’s coaching, planning a wedding and splitting her time between Worcester and New Haven.
“I think one of the great things about my life right now is this has been really the change I’ve gotten to focus on, and focusing on Holy Cross, and being able to develop relationships with the players and people here. Surrounding yourself with good people … is one of the most important aspects,” she told the publication.
4. She Thinks of Herself as a ‘Smart Player as Opposed to a Raw Athlete’
In a 2013 interview with ESPNW, Amanda noted that no member of the Belichick family is a great athlete, but they knew what great players needed.
“I would describe myself as a smart player as opposed to a raw athlete, and I think my brothers would say the same thing about themselves,” Amanda told ESPNW. “None of us are particularly incredible athletes by any means, but growing up around sports and having that as a part of my life, I developed a skill and game sense that were kind of X factors and what I did well as a player.”
She considers her strengths to be her “vision and creativity, and being able to dissect defenses and create plans,” she added.
Wheeler, her Wesleyan coach, told ESPNW that Amanda was “so focused on doing whatever she’s told to get better and take whatever she can to improve, you know something is there… The type of person who works that hard has the ability to be a great coach because great coaches are the ones willing to really work at it, and that’s something that distinguished her.”
5. Amanda Was at the Center of a Viral Moment When Her Dad Kissed Her on the Lips After Super Bowl XLIX
At the end of Super Bowl XLIX, while celebrating the Patriots’ victory with her dad, Belichick awkwardly kissed his daughter on the lips. The moment went viral, inspiring the New York Daily News to ask etiquette expert Elaine Swann about it. She suggested that it might have had to do with the Belichick family’s Croatian background.
“Doing a quick bit of research on Bill here, his grandparents are from Croatia and the culture there, they’re very hands-on. Men kiss men. Women kiss women,” Swann told the Daily News. “Here in the U.S. it can be seen as taboo; however, we have to remember that America is a melting pot of a ton of different cultures.”
CBS Boston confirmed that Amanda joined her father in Houston for Super Bowl LI.