Former Detroit Lions, Connecticut and Navy coach Rick Forzano died at the age of 90, Lions announced Thursday.
Forzano coached the Lions from 1974-76 and composed a 15-17 record when Tiger's team changed stadium for the Pontiac Silverdome, but his term in Detroit is more likely to mark the New England Patriots' career. Trainers Bill Belichick supports.
Forzano briefly lived with Belichick's family in 1959, having worked as an assistant to Navy and as a Navy colleague of Belichick's father, Steve, on the Navy's coaching staff – and asked ten-year-old Bill to break the film. Years later, after Belichick had spent a year as assistant to the Baltimore Colts, Forzano gave the 23-year-old 1
"Rick gave me a great opportunity here because when I was with The Colts I could not train I did not actually have a group of players I was responsible for," Belichick said in Detroit in 2017 to NFL Films. "When I came here, Rick gave me the tight end opportunity, and the ability to train a position is a big step for any coach, and that was a chance Rick gave me for the I probably was not ready, but I've appreciated the chance for that. "
Forzano also had future NFL head coaches Joe Bugel, Raymond Berry and Jerry Glanville at his Detroit staff.
"It has been a big part of my life, my development and my career, and I will always appreciate this opportunity, as I said it was given by Ford and Coach Forzano," Belichick said in 2014 Detroit News.
After coaching, Forzano became color analyst for football matches at ABC and NBC, along with Rick Forzano Associates, who connects domestic and international companies for the military, government and automotive industries of the United States.
Forzano, of Akron, Ohio, graduated from Kent State in 1951. He trained at the University of Wooster, Kent State, UConn and Navy NFL Assistant in St. Louis and Cincin Nati.