Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll in high school

gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

by Jeff Fisher

Bill Belichick Annapolis High School yearbook

Bill Belichick’s 1970 high school photo from Annapolis High School.

There have been plenty of soundbites from Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll leading-up to today’s Super Bowl, but I haven’t read anything about them during their high school football careers, so I thought it would be good to do a little research and share it with you.

Let’s start with Belichick, who played football and lacrosse at Annapolis High School in Maryland while his father was a coach at Navy.

Pete Carroll Redwood High School football

Pete Carroll played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back at Redwood High School. Photo courtesy of Redwood High School Hall of Fame.

The most amazing thing I found is that more is written about Belichick’s lacrosse skills than his skills as a center on the football tam. A Washington Post story back in 2005 pointed-out that Belichick’s high school coach Al Laramore put him at center “because he couldn’t run.”

The story goes on to say that Laramore didn’t have any assistant coaches on his staff, other than the young Belichick.

I wouldn’t doubt that Belichick grabbed a lot of knowledge from the legendary Laramore, who before he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 53, became the first coach in Maryland to win state championships in three sports – basketball, football and lacrosse.

After graduating in 1970, Belichick went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts to get his grades together for college.  Two of his classmates at Phillips were future author Buzz Bissinger of Friday Night Lights fame and Jeb Bush.

After that prep year, Belichick enrolled at Wesleyan University in Connecticut where he played center and tight end on the football team.  Belichick, who is a member of the Wesleyan University Hall of Fame, lettered in football, lacrosse and squash, serving as the lacrosse team’s captain as a senior.

To this day, Belichick is a big supporter of the sport of lacrosse.  His foundation, the Bill Belichick Foundation, provides coaching, mentorship, and financial assistance to individuals, communities and organizations with a focus on the sports of football and lacrosse, which includes giving scholarships to seniors at Annapolis High School.

Carroll attended Redwood High School in Larkspur, California.  Carroll’s Wikipedia page says he entered his freshman year weighing only 110 pounds.  He needed to give school officials a special doctor’s clearance in order to try out for the football team.

Once on the field, Carroll played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back.  He lettered in football, baseball and basketball and during his senior year was named the school’s athlete of the year.  In 2009, Carroll was inducted into the Redwood High School Hall of Fame.

Like Belichick, the young Carroll was the classmate of a future famous person — the late Robin Williams is a Redwood alum.

It should be pointed-out that neither Belichick or Carroll have ever coached at the high school level.

Belichick began with the Baltimore Colts for $25 a week, while Carroll started at the University of Pacific.


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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.