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Longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retiring

01.22.14 at 5:16 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Wednesday afternoon that longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring. Scarnecchia, who spent 32 seasons in the NFL (30 of which were with the Patriots), will be replaced by Dave DeGuglielmo.

“Dante Scarnecchia is a Patriot and NFL legend who defied the phrase ‘€˜not for long,’€™’€ said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “œIn an industry of constant change, Dante remained a fixture here for the simple reason that he helped every player reach his highest potential, regardless of who he was, how he was acquired or how much raw talent he had. In whatever category a coach can be assessed — evaluator, teacher, motivator, problem solver, disciplinarian, team player, winner — Dante is as good as it gets.

“As many games as he helped us win and as much as we would like to work with Dante forever, we are blessed with the opportunity to have been with him as long as we were.”

“œDante Scarnecchia has been the only coaching constant since I purchased the team in 1994,”€ said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “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 move is the second major change to the New England coaching staff in as many days — assistant Pepper Johnson announced Tuesday he was not returning for the 2014 season.

Scarnecchia was the longest tenured NFL coach this past season. The last NFL coach to garner at least 30 seasons with one team was Dick Hoak, who spent an NFL-record 35 seasons as an assistant with Pittsburgh. Since entering the NFL in 1982, Scarnecchia has spent all but two seasons (1989-90) with the Patriots. He was an offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts during those two seasons.

Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots coaching staff for 18 of the franchise’€™s 21 playoff seasons and has coached in 39 of the 43 playoff games in team history, including each of the team’€™s seven Super Bowls.

He will be replaced by DeGuglielmo, a 22-year coaching veteran, including nine seasons in the NFL as an assistant for the Jets (2012), Dolphins (2009-11) and Giants (2004-08).

DeGuglielmo joined the Giants in 2004 as the assistant offensive line/quality control coach before being elevated to assistant offensive line coach in 2005. During his tenure, the Giants were one of only four NFL teams to have put together a 4.0-yard average per rush attempt or better in each of those four seasons. In 2008, the Giants led the league and established a franchise record with 2,518 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry. He joined the Miami Dolphins staff on Jan. 15, 2009 and served three seasons as the offensive line coach. Under DeGuglielmo’€™s guidance, the Dolphins’€™ offensive line blocked for a running game that gained 1,987 yards in 2011 and produced Reggie Bush‘€™s first career 1,000-yard season. Following three seasons in Miami, Deguglielmo spent the 2012 season as the offensive line coach for the New York Jets.

Before entering the NFL coaching ranks, DeGuglielmo spent five seasons (1999-2003) under Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz at the University of South Carolina working with the offensive line and tight ends. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Boston College (1991-92) before moving to his alma mater, Boston University (1993-96) and then the University of Connecticut (1997-98). A native of Lexington, Mass., DeGuglielmo was a four-year letter-winning offensive lineman at Boston University (1987-90), while playing both guard and center.

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