Dante Scarnecchia may be gone – at least on a full-time basis – from the ranks of the Patriots coaching staff, but he is by no means forgotten. In addition to serving as an advisor during the pre-draft process this year, Scarnecchia has now been honored by the Pro Football Writers of America with the organization's lifetime achievement award.
Scarnecchia, who's retired from NFL coaching, shares this year's Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award with current NFL assistants Tom Moore (Arizona Cardinals) and Dick LeBeau (Tennessee Titans). In his 32 years as an NFL assistant, Scarnecchia spent 30 in New England, serving under various head coaches and overseeing a number of different positions during those years. However, he was most known for being the Patriots offensive line coach and assistant head coach under Bill Belichick.
Scarnecchia coached in the first seven Super Bowls in which the Patriots appeared, including the winning seasons of 2001, '03, and '04. He began his coaching career at California Western University in 1970 and remained a college assistant at several schools before joining the Patriots in 1982. Aside from a brief stint with the Indianapolis Colts, Scarnecchia spent the majority of his pro career with the Patriots before retiring after the 2013 season.
No word yet on when or where the PFWA will hand out the actual awards to this year's recipients.