A familiar family name to football fans will live on at Hiram College through gifts from New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick that honor his parents, Jeannette Munn Belichick ’42 and Steve Belichick.
Steve and Jeannette, both Northeast Ohio natives, met at Hiram College during the 1940s, while he was head football, basketball and track coach, and she taught Spanish and French. The gift, in three parts, honors the areas of campus life upon which the couple made a lasting impact, establishing:
- the Coach Steve Belichick Olympic Training Center, naming the facility in the Les and Kathy Coleman Sports, Recreation and Fitness Center.
- the Jeannette Munn Belichick ’42 Reading Room, naming the space on the first floor of the Hiram College Library.
- the Jeannette Munn Belichick ’42 Endowed Fund, which will provide support for the Hiram College Library in purchasing books and other resources related to foreign languages.
In addition to providing support to library resources, the endowed fund will support the curricular needs of the Center for Global Interaction, one of Hiram’s Centers of Distinction, and study away programs. Jeannette’s college language books have also been donated to the library.
Though their impacts upon the Hiram campus were in very different areas, both Steve and Jeannette left a lasting impression on Hiram and its students.
Steve went on to serve as assistant coach of Vanderbilt University (1949-1952). The couple married in 1950, at which time Jeannette became fluent in Croatian to communicate better with her in-laws. They had their son Bill in 1952, who grew to also have an appreciation for education. He followed in his father’s footsteps, choosing a career in coaching, and he has since set the all-time record for postseason victories (22) and tied the record for most Super Bowl wins (four) as an NFL head coach.
After Steve’s short stint as assistant coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the couple made Annapolis, Md., their permanent home when Steve took a coaching position for the United States Naval Academy.
Steve died in November 2005. Jeannette currently resides in Northeast Ohio.