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Reports: Veteran Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to retire

Dante Scarnecchia, 71, first joined New England’s coaching staff in 1982.

NFL: AUG 18 Preseason - Bears at Patriots Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dante Scarnecchia’s career with the New England Patriots spans back to Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee John Hannah’s.

The 71-year-old offensive line coach now intends to call it one, as first reported Tuesday by Christian Fauria on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss confirmed the news of retirement following a conversation with Scarnecchia, a five-time Super Bowl champion who had previously retired after the 2013 season and returned in 2016.

Scarnecchia had coached at his alma mater, California Western, and made stops at Iowa State, Pacific, Northern Arizona and Southern Methodist before joining Ron Meyer’s Patriots staff in 1982. He would later spend two seasons as offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts under Meyer, and landed back in New England under Dick MacPherson in 1991.

With the Patriots, Scarnecchia went on to hold the titles of special teams coach, tight ends coach, special assistant and defensive assistant. He’d be named offensive line coach in 1999, and remained in that capacity following Bill Belichick’s arrival as head coach at the start of the millennium.

Scarnecchia received the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dr. Z Award, recognizing lifetime achievement as an NFL assistant coach, during his tenure.

Cole Popovich, an assistant for the past four seasons, is a candidate to succeed Scarnecchia. Popovich worked with New England’s running backs in 2019 and logged prior experience with the offensive line. Carmen Bricillo, now entering his second season with the organization after nine seasons as O-line coach at Youngstown State, is also an in-house name to monitor.

According to Reiss, Scarnecchia plans to remain in the New England area.