A Long Island high school football and lacrosse great is sticking with the New England Patriots coaching staff in the wake of Bill Belichick’s exit as head coach.

Mike Pellegrino, a Connetquot High School graduate and the 2010 recipient of the award given to the top player in Suffolk County, will return to the Patriots next season after spending the last four seasons as the team’s cornerbacks coach, according to ESPN.

His alma mater recognized Pellegrino in a post on X as an all-time great for Connetquot.

“One of the best to ever wear the Thunderbirds uniform & is one of the best cornerback coaches in the NFL,” @Connetquot_FB posted on Friday beneath a photo of Pellegrino in a Patriots sweatshirt.

Pellegrino, 30, is among several defensive assistants retained on the overhauled coaching staff by new head man Jerod Mayo. A former Patriots linebacker, Mayo took over for Belichick after the famously short-lived “HC of the NYJ” stepped aside last month following a 24-year run in New England highlighted by six Super Bowl wins and an undefeated regular season in 2007.

Pellegrino has been with the Patriots nearly a decade, joining the team as an intern in 2015 and serving as a coaching assistant before becoming cornerbacks coach in 2019.

It’s the latest step in a sporting life that has included winning the Carl B. Hansen Award as a running back for the Thunderbirds of Connetquot High School, playing lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University and moonlighting for the Boston Cannons of the Major Lacrosse League during his early days on the Patriots staff.

“It was a tough balance, but people have tough balances every day in their lives,” Pellegrino told USA Lacrosse magazine in 2017. “Mine was not much different — you just have to put your head down and keep working.

“When I was at lacrosse, I talked about lacrosse, and when I was at football, I talked about football.”

Pellegrino, an Oakdale native, rushed for 1,363 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in 2010, when he became the 51st winner of the Hansen award. He then went on to be All-American lacrosse star at Johns Hopkins, where he was twice selected as team captain.

“Was always a football guy, [but] grew up in Long Island, so I gravitated toward lacrosse,” he told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester in 2019.

As a college senior in 2015, Pellegrino landed the Patriots internship with the help of Johns Hopkins’ then-lacrosse coach, Dave Pietramala, a longtime Belichick friend. The famed football coach is also a big lacrosse fan who played the sport in high school and at Wesleyan University.
Belichick’s son, Brian, a safeties coach for the Patriots is among the assistants who, along with Pellegrino, will remain with the team next season under new head coach Mayo.

Top: New England Patriots cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino during day 3 of New England Patriots training camp on July 29, 2022, at the Patriots Training Facility at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

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