OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Brian Billick, who led the Ravens to their first Super Bowl title and the best record in franchise history, will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor this coming fall, team owner Steve Bisciotti announced May 29.
Bisciotti's announcement came on the same day former defensive tackle Haloti Ngata formally retired as a Raven, and Bisciotti said Ngata will join Billick in the Ring of Honor in 2020.
Billick said it was "a surprise" when Bisciotti informed him of the honor, "but it goes to the heart of ... the way this organization treats people."
Billick, 65, guided the Ravens for nine seasons, leading them to the Super Bowl title after the 2000 season and to the best record in franchise history (13-3) in 2006. The Ravens were upset by the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs that year, and Billick was fired by Bisciotti the following season after the Ravens finished 5-11.
Replacing Ted Marchibroda as the Ravens coach in 1999, Billick came to the Ravens after a five-year run as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. But it was Baltimore's defense that dominated and led the team to its first Super Bowl title in Billick's second season.
Billick's Ravens teams made the playoffs four times, winning the AFC North title in 2003 and 2006. He finished his Ravens career with a record of 80-64 in the regular season (5-3 playoffs). Many observers thought Billick's induction was long overdue, and he we will join late owner Art Modell as the lone non-players in the Ring of Honor.
Fellow Ring of Honor members Matt Stover and Michael McCrary were among several current and former players on hand for the announcement. The Ravens last Ring of Honor inductee was Ed Reed in 2015.
A native of Fairborn, Ohio, who had spent little time on the East Coast before joining the Ravens, Billick remained in the area after his dismissal from the Ravens, saying, "We fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay." He stayed involved with football working as a network television analyst, and he has remained involved with the Ravens organization as member of the team's preseason broadcast crew, remaining a confidant and supporter of the coach who replaced him, John Harbaugh.
"It's not easy to have a coach hanging around," Billick said, "and John's just been incredibly gracious and generous in allowing me to be around."
Billick said he is loving the boating life along the Wye River and has no plans to return to coaching. Occasionally around draft time, he said, a radio host will ask him if he wants to return to the sideline, and he's usually at a boat show at that time.
"Let me get this straight," he recalled telling a host. "I'm sitting on the boat, it's 85 degrees, I got a nice brew here. You want me to go back into a room with no windows, looking at a tackle that I looked at last year, and is going to be the same son of a bitch I look at next year? No, I'm good with what I'm doing."