Former New England Patriots assistant (head-)coach Dante Scarnecchia had quite a successful career. After all, he spent 32 seasons as an NFL coach – 30 of those in New England – and, as offensive line coach, was an integral member of the franchise's first three Super Bowl winning teams.
After he retired following the 2013 season, Scarnecchia started helping the Patriots behind the scenes and currently works as an – uncredited – offensive line consultant come draft time. Due to his work with the team's scouting department, he more than likely earned his fourth Super Bowl ring in 2014.
Yet, even though he was one of the best and most successful assistant coaches in the league year in and year out, he is a long-shot to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply due to the position he held: assistant coaches are not valued very highly in Canton.
That is the reason why it is nice to see him get some recognition by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) today.
As the organization announced today, Scarnecchia is one of three winners (the others being current Titans assistant head coach Dick LeBeau and current Cardinals assistant head coach Tom Moore) of the PFWA's 2015 Paul Zimmerman Award. The award is named after long-time Sports Illustrated writer Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman and given for lifetime achievement as an assistant in the NFL.
Looking at Scarnecchia's track record, he absolutely deserves this honor.