Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day


Paul Assaiante's Wisdom Reaches Even Bill Belichick

The text message arrived on Paul Assaiante's phone not long after the Patriots had lost that heart-aching AFC title game in Denver.

"We just weren't good enough."

The text was from Bill Belichick.

"The Patriots must have been on their way home," said Assaiante, the coach of one of the great dynasties in college athletics.

So what did you text back?

"You're Bill Belichick. You'll be back. Just remember, Coach: Knocked down nine times, get up 10 times."

Belichick's reply? "Thanks."

The coaching interaction was as simple as it was profound.

Belichick's son, Brian, played lacrosse at Trinity. Assaiante,...