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Patriots announce hiring two new assistants to their coaching staff

New England adds to its staff.

Texas Benson runs for touchdown Photo by Ronald Martinez /Getty Images

The New England Patriots' coaching staff has seen plenty of turnover so far this offseason: The team lost defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to the Detroit Lions and special teams assistant Raymond Ventrone to the Indianapolis Colts, all while adding former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema in some capacity. And while Bielema has yet to officially join the team, the Patriots announced two more additions to their staff earlier today.

Let's take a look at the two newest coaches.

Cameron Achord: Assistant special teams

That Achord would join the Patriots was already reported last month – now the move has been made official by the team: He will serve as Ventrone's successor and right-hand man of special teams coach Joe Judge. 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. In 2017, he was named the Bears’ offensive coordinator and two months ago, 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, he resigned to join the Patriots.

Atif Austin: Coaching assistant

The Patriots, according to's Jeff Kolpack, offered Austin a spot on their coaching staff last week and will use him as an assistant to running backs coach Ivan Fears. Austin spent the last four years as North Dakota State's wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator and also was responsible for recruiting high school players from his home state of Florida.

Overall, Austin helped North Dakota State win three Division I national titles as well as four Missouri Valley conference titles during his tenure with the team. Before joining the school, he served as an assistant at Stetson, Northern Iowa and his alma mater Southwest Minnesota State. Before going into coaching, Austin was a four-year starter at defensive back at Iowa State from 1999 through 2002.