Ray Ventrone enters his third season as assistant special teams coach. Ventrone came to the Patriots after nine NFL seasons with four NFL teams, including parts of three seasons with New England. Ventrone most recently played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2014.
Under Joe Judge and Ventrone's tutelage in 2016 Matthew Slater was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl and was an Associated Press All-Pro First Team selection for the first time in his career, while Nate Ebner tied for the NFL lead in special teams tackles. In 2015, K Stephen Gostkowski led the league in scoring for the fourth straight season, was elected to the Pro Bowl and named to the Associated Press All Pro: First Team. Additionally, Slater was selected to his fifth straight Pro Bowl as a special teamer and Danny Amendola led the NFL with 12.0 yards per punt return.
Ventrone carved out a nine-year NFL career with four different teams, appearing in 97 games and totaling 13 career tackles and one forced fumble. Ventrone's notable play came on special teams, where he notched 57 career special teams tackles.
Ventrone was originally signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova in 2005 and spent his rookie season on the practice squad. In 2006, Ventrone suffered an injury during Patriots training camp and was placed on Injured Reserve and missed the entire season.
He began 2007 with the N.Y. Jets before being released and eventually made his NFL debut with the Patriots midseason, appearing in two regular-season games and two playoff contests, including his first special teams tackle in Super Bowl XLII vs. the N.Y. Giants. Ventrone returned to the Patriots in 2008 and appeared in 15 games, recording six special teams tackles. He also saw limited time at wide receiver.
Ventrone spent the next four seasons (2009-12) with the Cleveland Browns, appearing in 56 games. He had his best season in 2010, when he recorded 10 tackles on defense.
In 2013, he signed with the San Francisco 49ers where he appeared in 24 regular-season games and three playoff contests over two seasons.
Ventrone appeared in 35 games at Villanova, earning first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors as well as being named to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team his junior year. He finished his Wildcat career with 251 tackles, two sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 11 passes defensed. As a junior, he started all 11 games while recording 93 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four passes defensed. His sophomore season, he finished second on the team with 102 tackles to go along with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five passes defensed. As a freshman, he registered 25 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed.
Ray Ventrone was born Oct. 21, 1982, in Pittsburgh, Pa. He attended Chartiers Valley (Bridgeville, Penn.), where he was a three-time all conference performer and also set three high school records in track and field: long jump (22'6"), triple jump (45'1") and 100M (10.8). Ray's younger brother, Ross, also played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was on the Patriots for parts of three seasons. Ray and his wife, Katie, have two daughters, Ava and Ella, and a son, Major.