Jerod Mayo, the man who is chosen to replace one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, has enjoyed his own success at various levels of the sport for many years. Mayo, now stepping in as the head coach of the New England Patriots after the team parted ways with Bill Belichick, has been working as an assistant for the organization since 2019. The 37-year-old started as the team’s inside linebackers coach, then became the defensive coordinator, CBS Sports reported.

Mayo first became a member of the Patriots as a player in 2008. That’s when the team drafted the middle linebacker with the No. 10 overall pick. Mayo earned the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and continued to collect accolades throughout his career. The two-time Pro Bowler totaled 802 career tackles in 103 regular season games.

Mayo, who will be the youngest coach in the NFL, is also the first Black head coach in Patriots history, ESPN reported. Some of the Patriots players have already approved the hiring of Mayo.

“I hope they give it to Mayo. He deserves it,” one New England player said in a text, according to ESPN.

Mayo earned the same type of respect as a player when he was named captain. Some of Mayo’s teammates referred to him as Bill Jr., seeing that his leadership style is similar to Belichick’s approach. Mayo won a Super Bowl with Belichick and the Patriots in 2014.

When he retired from football in 2015, Mayo worked for Optum, a healthcare services provider. Reflecting on his experience of working in finance for the health care company, Mayo said his role helped him prepare for a head coaching position.

“I feel like I’m prepared. I feel like I’m ready,” Mayo said earlier this month, according to ESPN. “I feel like I can talk to men, women, old, young, white, Black — it doesn’t matter. And hopefully develop those people into upstanding citizens and help them evolve. That’s how I think about it. I feel like my calling is to develop.”

Mayo graduated from Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Virginia in 2004, then played college ball at the University of Tennessee, 13 News Now reported. After playing for three years in Tennessee, Mayo became the second linebacker taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft, according to Knox News.

Now, Mayo will look to ignite a new dynasty for the Patriots. The team parted with Belichick after finishing with a 4-13 record. Belichick led the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles in 24 years.