Since the New England Patriots hired Jack Easterby as one of its coaches in 2013, they have gone on to win two of the last four Super Bowls, an incredible achievement. (The Patriots also won in 2002, 2004, and 2005 and are playing in this Sunday’s Super Bowl once again, against my Philadelphia Eagles.)
There are many factors that have led to such success, including having perhaps the greatest coach of all time in Bill Belichick, and perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady. It is a highly effective organization from top to bottom that knows how to win.
So how does Jack Easterby fit in?
Jack is the team’s character coach, and according to Lorenzo Reyes in USA Today, he may be the most crucial member not named Bill Belichick on the coaching staff.
So what does a character coach do?
“My role is to simply serve,” Easterby said. “To help them (the players) create healthier relationships, healthier viewpoints, so that they can become the kind of people they want. Doing that would make them more sustainable in just about everything. We’ve been through some things recently — things that have gone on in our country and things that have gone on in the league,” Easterby said of the political climate and social activism in the NFL. “I just think that love wins. Communication with others wins. Servanthood wins. That’s why when we went through some of the stuff we went through earlier this year, it was a conversation, not a judgment.”
The players see the value in having Easterby around.
Fullback James Develin told USA TODAY Sports: “Before every game – and I mean every game – he comes up to each of us and tells us he appreciates us.” while defensive end Ricky Jean Francois notes. “This guy here, every day, he walks up to us and feeds us positivity. Every single day. This dude is not pretending.”
“Character and the kind of people you hire is something that our country is in desperate need to get back to evaluating,” Easterby said. “Unfortunately, sometimes it matters most when we count it the least. And when we evaluate it the least, it matters most. It’s tough, but we have seen a lot of businesses and industries fall because of a lack of character.”