The New England Patriots are losing a legend.
Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after 32 years in the NFL. Scarnecchia spent 30 years with the Patriots, starting as a special teams coach from 1982 to 1988 before leaving to coach offensive line with the Indianapolis Colts for two years.
Scarnecchia rejoined the Patriots in 1991 and served as a special teams coach, tight ends coach, special assistant, defensive assistant and special teams coach before moving to coach the offensive line in 1999.
Scarnecchia was known as one of the best position coaches in the NFL. He will be replaced by Dave DeGuglielmo, who served as the New York Jets’ offensive line coach in 2012. DeGugliemo previously served as the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line coach from 2009 to 2011.
“Dante Scarnecchia has been the only coaching constant since I purchased the team in 1994,” Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said. “Not coincidentally, he retires as the only coach to have been a part of all seven Super Bowl teams in Patriots franchise history. I want to thank Dante for his leadership, professionalism and always putting the team first. For as long as I have known him, he was always the first to arrive in the morning and among the last to leave. He didn’t demand respect from his players. He earned it. I loved watching Dante lead by example, especially when he would run stride for stride with his players during their conditioning runs. He was a coach who always stressed technique and fundamentals and helped players reach their full potential. At training camp, his colorful, constructive, coaching critiques made him a fan favorite. His presence on the Patriots sidelines will be missed by our coaches, players and fans alike.”
“Dante Scarnecchia is a Patriot and NFL legend who defied the phrase ‘not for long,’” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “In an industry of constant change, Dante remained a fixture here for the simple reason that he helped every player reach his highest potential, regardless of who he was, how he was acquired or how much raw talent he had. In whatever category a coach can be assessed – evaluator, teacher, motivator, problem solver, disciplinarian, team player, winner – Dante is as good as it gets. As many games as he helped us win and as much as we would like to work with Dante forever, we are blessed with the opportunity to have been with him as long as we were.” Follow @DougKyedNESN