The Patriots will lose one more top assistant this offseason with offensive line/assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia retiring after 30 years with the team.
Scarnecchia, 65, was the longest-tenured Patriots assistant, having spent time under six coaches: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Bill Parcells, Dick MacPherson, Raymond Berry, and Ron Meyer.
Meyer brought Scarnecchia onto the staff in 1982; he had worked with Meyer at SMU as offensive line coach. With the Patriots, Scarnecchia worked as a tight ends coach, special teams coach, special assistant, defensive assistant, and linebackers coach.
With Scarnecchia's retirement, the Patriots also announced that they have hired Dave DeGuglielmo to replace him. DeGuglielmo is a 22-year NFL coaching veteran, having spent time with the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and New York Giants.
"Dante Scarnecchia is a Patriot and NFL legend who defied the phrase ‘not for long,' " Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in a statement. "In 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."
Belichick elaborated on Scarnecchia on WEEI radio.
"This is a transition that we knew we were going to be making," Belichick said. "I feel good about the transition that we’re making.
"I think that the transition, even though it’s going to be a big one, is going to a smooth one."