Patriots OL coach Scarnecchia retires again

New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has elected to retire once again.

Scarnecchia, who turns 72 next month, confirmed his intentions to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com on Tuesday after former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria first reported the news on WEEI-AM.

"It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long," head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement released by the Patriots on Tuesday evening. "I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever."

Scarnecchia began his NFL coaching career with the Patriots as a special teams/tight ends coach from 1982-88. He spent two seasons as an offensive line coach in Indianapolis before rejoining the Patriots in 1991 while serving in a variety of roles under head coaches Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Belichick.

Scarnecchia coached many different position groups, including special teams, tight ends, linebackers and the offensive line. He even served in a head coaching capacity for the final eight games of the 1992 season, filling in for an ill Dick MacPherson. The Patriots went 2-6 under Scarnecchia to finish a 2-14 campaign.

Scarnecchia initially retired in 2013 before returning to Belichick's staff as an offensive line coach in 2016.

He has officially been a part of five Super Bowl championship teams.

"Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way. As a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them," owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential -- the mark of a great coach. His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decades."

Scarnecchia's exit will be the third significant coaching departure this offseason for the Patriots. Defensive line coach Brett Bielema followed special teams/wide receivers coach Joe Judge to the New York Giants.

--Field Level Media