Robert Kraft releases statement on Bill Belichick’s departure

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a statement encapsulating his feelings for Bill Belichick, after both sides agreed to mutually part ways on Thursday.

Belichick leaves the organization after 24 years as both head coach and general manager. This marks a changing of the guard for the Patriots in what is one of the most historically significant days in franchise history. Now, New England will begin their search for a new coach and start a new chapter in the organization.

Kraft gave heartfelt praise to Belichick in a statement released by the Patriots.

“At heart, I will always be a sentimental sports fan. So, this is an emotional day for me,” the statement read. “Some of my happiest and most memorable moments were celebrated with my family during Bill’s tenure here. I recognize that it is an emotional day for many, as it represents an end of an era, one that will always be celebrated in this region.”

Time will tell who New England’s next coach will be. Nevertheless, the team is entering into unfamiliar territory in looking for a head coach for the first time since 2000.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire