After signing a five-year extension the year prior, Brian Billick was let go as Ravens head in 2007 after finishing with an underwhelming record of 5-11. However, despite his exit from the Baltimore football landscape, his relationship with the city has not wavered.
Billick arrived on the scene in 1999, replacing the first head coach in Ravens history, Ted Marchibroda. Marchibroda's overall record during his tenure with the Ravens was 16-31-1, as the team struggled to lock down an identity or style of football. When then-owner Art Modell hired Billick, it was hoped the new coach would be able to steer the team into a style of football the city of Baltimore would be proud of. He did just that.
With a Super Bowl victory and an overall record of 85-67 (including playoffs), Billick established a winning tradition with the Ravens, leading to his forthcoming
induction into the Ravens' Ring of Honor
. Billick coached three Hall of Famers in linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and left tackle Jonathan Ogden and other high-end talents like linebackers Peter Boulware and Terrell Suggs and running back Jamal Lewis.
Billick is a fixture of a proud Baltimore football tradition, one of excellence and consistency.
"It's a special place," Billick said on
Glenn Clark Radio
May 30. "... Of all the organizations in the NFL, that sense of family and the history that they have, it's great to be a part of it, and it's going to be great to be a permanent part of a fixture in the stadium."
Billick believes there are no hard feelings stemming from being let go by the franchise after the 2007 season and that his induction into the Ring of Honor speaks volumes about the organization. Billick has put down roots in Maryland, becoming engrossed in the Chesapeake Bay lifestyle with his wife, Kim. Billick was born in Ohio, went to high school in California and coached at five different stops before coming to Baltimore.
"... It was 20 years ago that the Modells brought Kim and I and my girls here to the mid-Atlantic," Billick said. "This is our home now; we've fallen in love with it. We've fallen in love with the Chesapeake, so it is a very special relationship, and yes, business is business and that's part of the NFL. But the fact that this can supersede that, and you can still be a member of that family so to speak, I think is very, very special."
Billick wanted to make it clear that a lot of the success can be attributed to Ravens fans as well.
"The fans have been incredible over the last 10 years that I've been coming and going," Billick said. "... The graciousness of the fans over the last 10 years, to me and my family, it is why we've fallen in love with the Chesapeake and the mid-Atlantic, and why we're still here."
To hear more from Billick, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of NFL Network