"I think Steve has some aspirations in the game of football as far as coaching. I hope I don't screw that up and run him out of it.”—Greg Schiano, August 2011 (via Boston Herald).
When he uttered that quote, then-Rutgers-coach Greg Schiano was speaking about Stephen Belichick, his team's new long snapper—who also just happened to be the son of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. After four years at Rutgers where he played lacrosse, Stephen Belichick joined the football program as a walk-on and utilized his final semester of college eligibility.
Now, nine months after Schiano expressed concern over the possibility of his coaching style dissuading his long snapper from a future in coaching, Stephen Belichick has been hired by the New England Patriots as a coaching assistant for the 2012 season, according to Glen Farley of The Enterprise.
The hiring was one of several moves recently announced by the Patriots, including the recruitment of former Crimson Tide special teams assistant Joe Judge and the reassignment of duties for coaches Josh Boyer, Brian Flores, Patrick Graham, Pepper Johnson and George Godsey.
"I think he's the smartest football guy I've ever been around," Schiano once said of Bill Belichick. "It seems like every time I sit down with Bill I feel like a young, green coach filling up a couple pages worth of notes. It's almost embarrassing."
It may well be the personal relationship with Greg Schiano that Bill Belichick has utilized to sift out diamonds in the rough, as the Patriots' current roster now sports four former Scarlet Knights: recent undrafted free agent Justin Francis, cornerback Devin McCourty, defensive end Alex Silvestro and current unrestricted free agent Nate Jones. Only Tampa Bay, now coached by Schiano, has more (seven) former Scarlet Knights than New England.