The New England Patriots have lost several key coaches since winning Super Bowl LIII, but one of their biggest losses might have been one that flew under the radar: Jack Easterby, who was officially the team’s character coach/team development.
Easterby and the Patriots parted ways in February; his contract with the team had expired, but the Boston Globe reported that Easterby felt his time with the team had run its course, and the situation with team owner Robert Kraft, who was charged that month for solicitation tied to a prostitution ring in a Florida strip-mall day spa, didn’t sit well with him.
But Easterby has found a new landing spot, and what seems like an expanded role.
Houston Texans’ new vice president
On Tuesday, the Houston Texans’ public relations department tweeted the news that the team has hired Easterby as executive vice president of team development.
Though Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien left New England before Easterby was hired, O’Brien still has ties to the Patriots, and Easterby’s behind-the-scenes work has drawn raves.
Houston is the fourth NFL team Easterby has worked with, following the Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Who is Jack Easterby?
Easterby wore many hats with the Patriots, and became one of Bill Belichick’s most trusted staff members. He was a team chaplain, but also took part in on-field drills during practice and sat in on personnel meetings.
New England hired Easterby away from the Chiefs in 2013, not long after Aaron Hernandez was arrested for homicide.
A South Carolina native, Easterby played basketball and golf at Division II Newberry College in the state. After graduating, he took a low-level personnel job with the Jaguars but wasn’t there long before realizing he wanted to be a basketball coach or do something in college athletics administration.
The University of South Carolina hired him as an academic counselor, but Easterby soon realized he had a larger purpose: he began hosting Bible study for basketball players in his home, then Bible study for all student-athletes. He continued the work even after some graduated, offering guidance to professional and Olympic athletes.
He was the Chiefs’ team chaplain in 2011-12, before he was hired away by the Patriots.
During the days leading up to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis last year, we spoke to several New England players about Easterby, the influence he had, and his ability to speak to every player on the roster, whether they were deeply spiritual or not.
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