Patriots hire Jerod Mayo as next head coach, succeeding Belichick

Patriots hire Jerod Mayo as next head coach, succeeding Belichick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Bill Belichick succession plan is in place.

The New England Patriots have hired Jerod Mayo as their next head coach, our Phil Perry confirmed Friday morning.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report Mayo's hiring, which comes just one day after the team parted ways with Bill Belichick following his 24-year tenure in New England.

UPDATE (12:25 p.m. ET): The Patriots have formally announced Mayo's hire as head coach.

Perry and Tom E. Curran reported Thursday that Mayo was in line to be the Patriots' next head coach, but it was unclear when Mayo officially would take the job. As NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, the Patriots "established a firm, contractual succession plan in a prior contract" with Mayo that allowed them to name him the head coach whenever they saw fit, instead of going through the formal hiring process for a new head coach.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed his desire to move "very quickly" in naming a new head coach Thursday, and he certainly lived up to his word. Kraft has been vocal in his support of Mayo in recent years, dubbing the 37-year-old linebackers coach the "heir apparent" to Belichick in March 2023 after announcing plans to extend Mayo's contract in January 2023.

In fact, The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported that the Patriots didn't speak to a single external candidate before hiring Mayo.

New England's first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft (No. 10 overall), Mayo spent his entire eight-year playing career with the Patriots, winning a Super Bowl and earning two Pro Bowl nods as a defensive leader at linebacker.

Mayo joined the New England's coaching staff in 2019 as an inside linebackers coach and evolved into a leader on the defensive coaching staff, serving as the team's de facto defensive coordinator with fellow assistant Steve Belichick handling play-calling duties.

Now, he's the Patriots' first new head coach since 2000 and charged with filling the shoes of arguably the greatest head coach of all time.

New Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo
New Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo