A member of Adam Gase’s NFL coaching tree is on track to join the New England Patriots for 2021.
Hardegree, 36, played both football and tennis at the University of Tennessee. The former quarterback was a four-time All-SEC Academic selection and a Volunteers teammate of eventual Patriots first-round draft choice and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo during his tenure.
After earning a degree in exercise science in 2007, Hardegree served as a graduate assistant at Duke under David Cutcliffe and an intern at LSU under Les Miles. He transitioned to the NFL ranks in 2014, and has worked alongside Gase through stops with four organizations dating back to then.
Hardegree held the title of offensive quality control coach for the Denver Broncos and was an offensive assistant for the Chicago Bears over the course of Gase’s time as offensive coordinator. He then served as the Miami Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach for three seasons with Gase as head coach.
And in 2019, the New York Jets hired Hardegree as an offensive assistant following the arrival of Gase.
“I have a lot of respect for Adam,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in December of his connection to Gase, who posted a 9-23 record with New York. “I think he’s a very good coach. He’s always been tough to coach against. He’s always made things difficult on our defense. ... I thought he did a good job with Miami and I think he’s done a good job with the Jets. He’s, as I said, a coach I have a lot of respect for and he gives us a lot of problems. He’s a tough, tough coach to coach against, so that’s really the way I feel about him.”