Dante Scarnecchia is a 40-year coaching veteran who is enjoying his 28th season as an NFL assistant. He owns the longest coaching tenure in Patriots history, now entering his 26th season on the Patriots sidelines. Since joining the Patriots in 1982, he has spent all but two seasons (1989-90) in Foxborough.
Scarnecchia has the distinction of being the only coach in franchise history to be a member of all six Super Bowl teams. He has been on the Patriots coaching staff during 13 of the franchise's 16 playoff appearances and has coached in 30 of the 34 playoff games in team history.
For the eleventh consecutive season, Scarnecchia's primary responsibility will be the offensive line, a position he has coached for 24 of his 40 seasons in the profession. Bill Belichick named Scarnecchia the Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach on Feb. 1, 2000.
Last season, the offensive line helped produce the best rushing season in more than 20 years for the Patriots. New England averaged 4.4 yards per carry and totaled 2,278 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. The offensive line also helped to consistently sustain drives, as the Patriots led the league in drives of 10 plays or longer (38) and in rushing first downs (145).
In 2007, Scarnecchia was named SI.com's NFL Assistant Coach of the Year. Anchored by an offensive line that sent three players to the Pro Bowl (C Dan Koppen, T Matt Light and G Logan Mankins), the Patriots offense broke several NFL records, including points scored and touchdowns scored. The offensive line powered a Patriots rushing attack that posted the franchise's highest average yards per rush in 22 years (4.10). The offensive line also allowed just 21 sacks in the regular season, the lowest total for the franchise since the NFL adopted a 16-game schedule. Protected by the line, NFL MVP Tom Brady broke the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season (50) and led the league in both passing yards (4,806, also a franchise record) and passer rating (117.2, also a franchise record).
New England's protection up front was a significant contributor to the team's three Super Bowl winning seasons. In 2004, the line opened holes for running back Corey Dillon to set a single-season franchise record with 1,635 rushing yards and led the NFL with 109.0 yards per game. In 2003, the offensive line did not allow a sack in any of the team's three postseason games despite 126 pass attempts. In 2001, Scarnecchia worked with a unit that featured three new starters, but still produced a powerful rushing attack and a balanced passing attack on the way to the franchise's first Super Bowl victory.
Prior to becoming offensive line coach, Scarnecchia coached the Patriots special teams units for two seasons (1997-98).
Scarnecchia originally joined the Patriots and made his NFL coaching debut in 1982 as a member of Ron Meyer's staff. He coached the tight ends and special teams for the Patriots for seven seasons (1982-88) before moving on to Indianapolis with Meyer in 1989. He rejoined the Patriots in 1991 after spending two seasons (1989-90) as the Colts offensive line coach. From 1991 to 1992, he coached the tight ends and special teams on Dick MacPherson's staff. On Nov. 4, 1992, MacPherson fell ill and appointed Scarnecchia to serve as the team's spokesman in his absence. Scarnecchia fulfilled the obligation for seven of the Patriots' final eight games and held the responsibilities of the head coach for both of the Patriots' victories that season.
In 1993, he was the only Patriots assistant retained from the previous staff. He was appointed special assistant from 1993-94, which was re-defined as defensive assistant from 1995-96. During that time, he assisted defensive coordinator Al Groh with the development of the team's linebacking corps.
His coaching career began in 1970 as the offensive line coach at California Western University. He moved to Iowa State in 1973, where he served as the assistant offensive line and assistant defensive backfield coach. He spent the 1975 and 1976 campaigns at Southern Methodist University, before becoming the University of Pacific's offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 1977 through 1978. In 1979, Scarnecchia coached at Northern Arizona and then accepted an opportunity to return to Meyer's staff at SMU as the offensive line coach in 1980 and 1981. In 1982, Meyer was hired as the head coach of the New England Patriots and Scarnecchia was among a number of the SMU assistants who joined Meyer's staff in New England.
Scarnecchia played offensive guard and center at California Western University from 1968-70. He began his collegiate career at Taft Junior College in 1966 before transferring to California Western.
Dante Scarnecchia was born Feb. 15, 1948, in Los Angeles, Calif. He holds a master's degree in physical education from U.S. International. Dante and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Lisa, and a son, Steve.