The New England Patriots' have seen plenty of turnover this offseason. Not only did core players like Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, and Malcolm Butler leave the team via free agency, the Patriots also saw two members of their coaching staff depart: Former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is the new head coach of the Detroit Lions; special teams assistant Raymond Ventrone will coach the Indianapolis' kicking game units in 2018.
While the vacancy created by Patricia leaving will reportedly not be filled this season – linebackers coach Brian Flores will call signals but not get the defensive coordinator title –, Ventrone's former role is expected to go to an outside hire (per ESPN's Mike Reiss): The Patriots added Cameron Achord, interim head coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College, to their coaching staff as already confirmed by his former school.
According to Reiss, Achord has personal ties to Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge and has already helped the team when it comes to scouting potential draft prospects. After playing safety at Belhaven University, the Mississippi native took his first coaching steps in 2009 when he served as a special teams graduate assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Later, Achord joined Southwest Mississippi as an assistant coach and over the years saw his responsibilities grow considerably: He coached special teams, quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends, served as the school's recruiting director, and in 2017 was also named the Bears' offensive coordinator. Last month, after head coach Tucker Peavey departed, Achord was named the college's interim head coach.
Two weeks after agreeing to coach the school's football operation, however, Achord has re-signed to join the Patriots' staff.