Patriots hire Jerod Mayo to replace Bill Belichick as head coach

Mayo is now the youngest coach in the NFL

One day after parting ways with long-time head coach Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots tabbed Jerod Mayo as the franchise's next head coach.

Mayo, 37, will be introduced next week and will become the youngest head coach in the NFL.

Mayo spent his entire eight-year NFL career in New England under Belichick and joined his staff in 2019 when he took on the role of inside linebackers coach.

The Patriots, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, were able to hire Mayo so quickly and bypass the regular NFL hiring process because there was a succession plan established in the extension Mayo signed last year. Having that plan in place, the Patriots would not have to satisfy the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview two minority candidates for an open coaching role. Mayo will be the first African American to be head coach of the Patriots.

Team CEO Robert Kraft said last March that Mayo was a "strong candidate" to replace Belichick, and a head coaching role was something the former NFL linebacker wanted to achieve.

“Hopefully, as you guys all know, one day I want to be a head coach,” Mayo said, via CBS News Boston. “Where that is, I don’t know. But at the same time, I would say I have a lot of love for New England. I have a lot of love for the fans, the people around the building. And you know, my family, they love it here as well. So that would be great if I could stay here and continue to progress throughout my career, but we’ll see.”

Mayo has a lot of work ahead of him. The Patriots have missed the playoffs in three out of the past four seasons and own the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft after a 4-13 season. They will also have plenty of salary cap space to work with to make his first season in charge a successful one.