Belichick-Less Patriots Add Another Familiar Face To Their Staff

The Patriots are reportedly finalizing a deal with Alonzo Highsmith, currently with the University of Miami, to join their front office in a personnel executive role. The specifics of his title are yet to be determined. It was clear the Patriots were going to make wholesale changes following the departure of Bill Belichick. They’ve wasted no time revamping the coaching staff, adding Highsmith to their list of recent hires.

Highsmith brings a ton of experience to the table, having previously worked for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and Seattle Seahawks. A former standout player for the Hurricanes in the ’80s, Highsmith’s experience, and extensive NFL background make him a valuable addition no matter what title he ends up holding.

His brief tenure on Miami’s staff was marked by an expertise in player evaluation and scouting. Highsmith’s arrival was lauded as a boost for the program, given his esteemed reputation within the community. Highsmith was highly regarded for his keen eye for talent and served as a valuable resource for head coach Mario Cristobal. Miami had the 9th-best recruiting class in ’23 and currently ranks 6th for ’24 according to under Highsmith’s watch.

The Patriots’ front office landscape seems to be shifting, with indications pointing toward Eliot Wolf — who has been on the staff since 2020 — taking on the primary decision-making role. Wolf’s connections have already played a significant role in recent coaching staff additions. In addition to Highsmith; new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, offensive assistant Ben McAdoo, and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery all have ties to Wolf during his time spent in Green Bay.

The recent hires will help usher in a new era of Patriots football. After doing things Bill Belichick’s way for so long, it will be interesting to see how the team operates moving forward — and if Belichick’s influence will manifest itself in any way. Wolf has surrounded himself with familiar faces, hoping that it will bring the Patriots back to relevancy in short order.