By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tuesday afternoon, it was reported New England Patriots long-time offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after 34 seasons with the team. By Tuesday evening, the three biggest names in the organization had given public responses.
Owner Robert Kraft said (via Patriots.com): “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. 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.”
Head coach Bill Bill Belichick was more concise (also via Patriots.com). “It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long. 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 had been with the Patriots longer than both Kraft and Belichick. He came in from the college ranks in 1982 as the special teams and tight ends coach. ‘Scar’ stayed through 1988, when he left for two years to work as the Colts offensive line coach. He returned in 1991, through his first retirement after the 2013 season. He returned in 2014 for his third stint with the team.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also reacted, via a comment on the Patriots Instagram post.
“Couldn’t have been a greater man or coach!” Brady posted. “What a privilege to play and work with Dante for two decades. The definition of the Patriot Way – consistent and dependable EVERY DAY!!”
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth