New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring for the second time, the team announced on Tuesday.
Scarnecchia has served in multiple roles with the organization on-and-off since 1982, including special teams coach, tight ends coach, assistant head coach and offensive line coach.
“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 in a statement released by the team. “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.”
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.” – Robert Kraft
He briefly left New England to serve as offensive line coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 1989-1990 and initially retired in 2013, only to rejoin the Patriots again in 2016. In total, Scarnecchia spent 34 of his 36 seasons in the league with the Patriots.
“It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in the statement. “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.”
He won five Super Bowls with the Patriots, three in the early 2000s and two more in 2017 and 2019. The Patriots only reached one of their NFL-record nine Super Bowls without Scarncecchia on the sidelines, that being Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
Scarncecchia’s return to the team in 2016 was widely credited with improving the offensive line and protecting quarterback Tom Brady, helping the Patriots continue their dynasty. Brady was only sacked 16 times in 2016 and the Patriots won Super Bowl LI a year after being battered by the Denver Broncos defence in the AFC Championship.