Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is known far more for his football acumen than his displays of emotion. But Linda Holliday, Belichick’s longtime girlfriend and a likely attendee when the Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, is quite capable of making him crack a smile.
Holliday, 51, was in attendance on Jan. 18 when the Patriots secured a spot in Super Bowl XLIX with a 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Patriots players and fans were given a rare glimpse at their gruff head coach’s softer side when he and Holliday were photographed embracing on the field during the team’s postgame celebration.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman discussed his coach’s display of affection while speaking with the media the next day. “I didn’t see that, but this is what he does,” Edelman said, according to NESN. “It’s unbelievable when you can help the old coach get a smooch.”
Holliday, who attended the game with daughters Ashley and Katie, took to her Instagram account to congratulate Belichick on his victory, alongside a photo of their postgame hug. “Simply could not be prouder and happier!!” she wrote.
Belichick and Holliday began dating after his 2006 divorce and have been seen together in public frequently ever since, according to Yahoo Sports. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Holliday owned her own clothing company before becoming a fashion correspondent for StyleBoston, which airs on WBZ-TV. She’s also active in the Bill Belichick Foundation, serving as the charity’s director.
Holliday’s relationship with Belichick has drawn its share of public scrutiny. Last year, various reports held that the pair was engaged after Holliday was spotted with a diamond on her ring finger. But a source familiar with Holliday told the Boston Globe in May 2014 that she and Belichick were not engaged and had no plans to get married.
Belichick’s girlfriend is active on social media and frequently posts photos of the Patriots coach in his lighter moments away from the gridiron. Many of those photos can be viewed on her Instagram account here.