Pepper Johnson isn’t the only longtime Patriots assistant coach leaving Bill Belichick’s staff.
The team announced that assistant head coach and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after 30 years as a coach with the team. It’s a remarkable run for a coach who has been held in high regard throughout his time with the Patriots. That run includes all seven trips to the Super Bowl in the history of the franchise, which Patriots owner Robert Kraft pointed out in a statement announcing Scarnecchia’s decision.
“Dante Scarnecchia has been the only coaching constant since I purchased the team in 1994,” Kraft said. “Not coincidentally, he retires as the only coach to have been a part of all seven Super Bowl teams in Patriots franchise history. I want to thank Dante for his leadership, professionalism and always putting the team first. For as long as I have known him, he was always the first to arrive in the morning and among the last to leave. He didn’t demand respect from his players. He earned it. I loved watching Dante lead by example, especially when he would run stride for stride with his players during their conditioning runs. He was a coach who always stressed technique and fundamentals and helped players reach their full potential. At training camp, his colorful, constructive, coaching critiques made him a fan favorite. His presence on the Patriots sidelines will be missed by our coaches, players and fans alike.”
The Patriots also announced that they have hired Dave DeGuglielmo to take over as the team’s offensive line coach. DeGuglielmo was on the University of Maryland staff for six days before leaving to join the Patriots, which is relatively long compared to how long his new boss was head coach of the Jets before making the same jump.