By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is reportedly retiring at age 71. His announcement comes after a football coaching career spanning 50 years, 34 of them spent in New England working with the Pats.
Former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria, now an on-air host at WEEI, reported Scarnecchia's impending retirement on Tuesday. Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston added minutes later that he's hearing the same.
Scarnecchia served as the team's offensive line coach from 2000-13, and briefly retired for two seasons before returning in 2016. He also coached special teams and tight ends during his time in New England, and had a two-year stint as the Colts' O-line coach from 1989-90.
The well-respected veteran coach helmed the Pats' offensive line for eight of the team's nine Super Bowl appearances since 2001. They won Super Bowl XLIX with Dave DeGuglielmo as O-line coach in 2014, one of the two seasons Scarnecchia spent in retirement. Now it appears he's calling it a career for good.
The Patriots have potential in-house replacements for their offensive line coaching spot. There's assistant running backs coach Cole Popovich, who assisted with the O-line from 2015-18 and also served as the line coach at Fresno City College from 2012-13 and Los Angeles Valley College in 2011. There's also Carmen Bricillo, who assisted with the offensive line in 2019 and previously coached the O-line at Youngstown State from 2010-18.
"Scar" will always be remembered as a maestro of the Patriots in the offensive trenches. His unmatched ability to get the most out of his players, and consistently mold cohesive units amid year-to-year roster turnover, will be very difficult to replace.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].