In many ways Bill Belichick is as old-school a football coach as they come, but at the same time he's not afraid to buck conventional wisdom every once in a while. Never is this more evident than on fourth down, when Belichick's teams roll the dice as much or more than anyone.
In part due to his aggressive nature in those situations, Belichick was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recently completed MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
"We all have different responsibilities," Belichick told the conference via video message as part of his acceptance speech. "I certainly respect the mathematical and statistical ways of looking at the game and trying to use those methods and results to improve our product on the field."
The conference is a forum for industry professionals, including executives and researchers, and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in sports. Founded in 2006, the conference is open to anyone interested in sports.
This marks the second year the award was issued at the conference with acclaimed baseball research analyst Bill James taking last year's inaugural honors.