New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Dante Scarnecchia, Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Line coach of the New England Patriots looks on from the sideline against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 41-23. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

There is still a backlog of players from the Patriots’ Super Bowl teams waiting to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, one crucial member of five of the six Super Bowl winning teams will be getting recognized by the Hall this summer.

On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 17 individuals who will be honored with “Awards of Excellence.” That group includes longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

  • After spending over 10 years working at the college level, Scarnecchia first joined the Patriots in 1982 as a special teams and tight ends coach, remaining in that role through 1988. After a brief stint with the Colts he returned to that same role in 1991, and remained with the Patriots for the rest of his career.

    He had multiple titles from 1991 to 1998, but in 1999 assumed the role he’d hold throughout the dynasty run as offensive line coach. When Bill Belichick was hired the next year, assistant head coach was added to his title. Outside of an initial retirement in 2014 and 2015, he remained in that role with the Patriots before retiring after the 2019 season. Scarnecchia is widely considered to be one of the greatest positional coaches in NFL history.

    “It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said after Scarnecchia’s retirement in 2020. “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.”

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  • According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the award Scarnecchia is being given is meant to honor individuals “that have propelled the success of individual teams and the sport of professional football.” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter added that “each recipient has dedicated decades of time to creating meaningful change for their respective field, their teams and the National Football League.” This is the second year the Hall has given out this award.

    Scarnecchia and the other winners will be recognized in Canton June 28 and 29. In addition to assistant coaches, other groups considered for the award are athletic trainers, equipment managers, film/video directors, and public relations staff.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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