Matt Patricia’s New England Patriots tenure officially has come to an end.
The Detroit Lions announced Monday they had hired Patricia, New England’s defensive coordinator since 2012, as their new head coach.
In a statement, Patricia thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft, team president Jonathan Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick, labeling the head coach “a remarkable mentor.”
“Quite simply, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with (Belichick), who, I believe, is the greatest coach in NFL history,” Patricia said.
The hiring reunites Patricia with Lions general manager/executive vice president Bob Quinn, who worked in the Patriots’ personnel and scouting departments from 2000 to 2015.
“When we launched the search for our next head coach, I wanted to find a leader that could take us to the next level, and I am confident we have found that in Matt Patricia,” Quinn said in a statement. “He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he’s ready for the responsibility and its challenges.
“Matt is driven to succeed, has extreme passion for the game and excels in preparation. He embodies the same hard-working, blue-collar attributes that represent our organization and the great City of Detroit.”
Patricia’s Patriots tenure ended in disappointing fashion Sunday night with a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. The 43-year-old, who replaces Jim Caldwell in Detroit, coached in six Super Bowls during his time with New England, winning three.
The Lions have finished above .500 in three of the past four seasons but have won just one playoff game since 1957.
The Patriots now need a new defensive coordinator. Linebackers coach Brian Flores has been viewed as the favorite to take over for Patricia, but reports Monday indicated former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccanneers coach Greg Schiano could be in the mix, as well.
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