FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia will retire after 36 seasons in the NFL, including 34 seasons with the organization (1982-88, 1991-2013, 2016-19). Scarnecchia closes the coaching chapter of his career spanning five decades and five Super Bowl championships.
“Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way. As a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential — the mark of a great coach. His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decades. Yet even more remarkable is the impact Dante has had on countless players, coaches and staff members who have walked through our doors. He modeled the principles he believed in through his hard work, diligence and integrity. He held himself accountable. He trained alongside his players. He treated everyone with respect. There truly is no way to sum up the incredible career he’s had, the positive impact he’s made on our franchise or how much he will be missed. We are forever grateful for Dante and wish him the absolutely best in his next chapter, along with his lovely wife Susan and his family. The New England Patriots are better because of Dante Scarnecchia, and he will always have a home with us.”
Scarnecchia was the longest-tenured NFL coach in 2019 and owns the most coaching seasons in New England Patriots history. The last NFL coach to garner at least 30 seasons with one team was Dick Hoak, who spent an NFL-record 35 seasons as an assistant with Pittsburgh. Since entering the NFL in 1982, Scarnecchia has spent all but four seasons (1989-90, 2014-15) with the Patriots. He was an offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 1989-90 and briefly retired for two seasons from 2014-15.
“It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever.”
Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots coaching staff for 22 of the franchise’s 27 playoff seasons and has coached in 49 of the 58 playoff games in team history, including 10 of the team’s 11 Super Bowl appearances.
Scarnecchia coached the offensive line for 19 seasons for the Patriots, a position he coached for 32 of his 48 seasons in the coaching profession. He originally joined the Patriots and made his NFL coaching debut in 1982. He coached the Patriots tight ends and specials teams for seven seasons (1982-88) before moving to Indianapolis in 1989. After two seasons (1989-90) as the Colts offensive line coach, he re-joined the Patriots in 1991. After two seasons as a tight ends and special teams coach on Dick MacPherson’s staff, Scarnecchia was appointed special assistant on Bill Parcells’ staff from 1993-94, which was re-defined as defensive assistant from 1995-96. He resumed special teams responsibilities on Pete Carroll’s staff in 1997 before being named the offensive line coach in 1999. When Belichick was named the Patriots head coach in 2000, he made Scarnecchia his assistant head coach/offensive line coach, positions he held for 14 seasons, including each of the Patriots first three Super Bowl Championship teams.
He began his coaching career in 1970 as the offensive line coach at California Western University. His coaching career led him to Iowa State (1973-74), Southern Methodist (1975-76), Pacific (1977-78), Northern Arizona (1979) and back to Southern Methodist (1980-81) before entering the NFL ranks as a member of Ron Meyer’s staff in 1982.
Press release supplied by New England Patriots.