Traveling with his wife, spending time with his grandchildren, and living an essentially normal life appeals very much to Dante Scarnecchia. For the past two years, he's been able to do all those things and more.
Yet, he's decided to give that all up to coach the Patriots offensive line once again – a job he held for so many years before retiring at the end of the 2013 season.
"It is a tough decision," the 68-year-old admitted Monday, "because you get used to a very nice lifestyle. I liked retirement. It was great, a lot of fun, we saw things we hadn't seen ever, took trips, spent a lot of time with our grandkids. To a degree, it's very hard to give up, but we talked about it, my wife and I, and decided this would be a good thing on a lot of different levels… and I love coaching football."
Scarnecchia explained that after this past season ended for New England with a loss in the AFC Championship Game at Denver, he received a call from the team. He was out in California at the time, but in less than two weeks, he'd accepted the Patriots' offer.
"I retired [originally] because I got tired of the [coaching] lifestyle. After two years off, I'm okay," he continued.
"We're here and everything's the same. That makes it easy. Honestly, I would probably not have gotten back into coaching had I had to go somewhere else, because I was going by myself. [The wife] isn't going. And I can't leave my kids and grandkids."
As much as he loves being back at Gillette, though, Scarnecchia concedes he didn't miss everything about NFL life.
"I didn't miss the routine. I was reminded of it the second day I was here and we had, like, a 14-hour personnel meeting. But it's all right," he grinned.
His fellow coaches seem pleased to have him back in the office again.
Running backs coach Ivan Fears told reporters Monday, "Dante was never gone. Dante's like family, man. I've been with him so long I don't know any different. It's like doing the same thing, back to where we were. He took a day off and now we're back doing it."