After an NFL coaching career that lasted an impressive 32 seasons, New England Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring. The official announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon.
Out of the 32 years that Scarnecchia spent on the sidelines, thirty of the years came with the Patriots.
“Dante Scarnecchia has been the only coaching constant since I purchased the team in 1994,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. “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.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also commented on Scarnecchia’s retirement.
“Dante Scarnecchia is a Patriot and NFL legend who defied the phrase ‘not for long,'” said Belichick. “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.”
To replace Scarnecchia on the Patriots coaching staff, the team has added Dave DeGuglielmo as the new offensive line coach.