ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Rick Forzano, who was the coach of the Detroit Lions during the mid-1970s and hired a young Bill Belichick to work on his staff, has died. He was 90.
Forzano coached the Lions for the 1974 and 1975 seasons, plus the first four games in 1976. He went 15-17.
Forzano was also the head coach at Connecticut (1964-65) and Navy (1969-72).
"He's coaching guys that, he's younger than they are," Forzano said in 2017 for an NFL Films video about him and Belichick. "But they just accepted him."
Born in Akron, Ohio, Forzano graduated from Kent State in 1951. He coached high school for five years before a college coaching career that included stops as an assistant at Wooster (1956), Kent State (1957-58) and Navy (1959-63).
In between his head coaching jobs at UConn and Navy, he was an NFL assistant with St. Louis and Cincinnati. He joined the Lions as an assistant in 1973 before becoming their head coach.
Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press.