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Dante Scarnecchia retiring as Patriots offensive line coach

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Longtime New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who was the NFL's longest-tenured coach with one team, confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday that he is retiring after 36 seasons, 34 of which came with the Patriots.

Scarnecchia turns 72 in February. He is widely regarded as one of the league's finest assistants, and a critical part of the team's Super Bowl success.

The last NFL coach to garner at least 30 seasons with one team was Dick Hoak, who spent an NFL-record 35 seasons as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Scarnecchia had retired for two seasons in 2014 and 2015 before returning in 2016, at which time head coach Bill Belichick said, "I think the world of Dante. I think he is as fine of a coach as anybody that I've coached with, and I've had the opportunity to coach with a lot of them."

Scarnecchia was hired by the Patriots in 1982 under head coach Ron Meyer, then joined Meyer's Indianapolis Colts staff for the 1989 and 1990 seasons, before returning to New England in 1991.

Scarnecchia worked under head coaches Meyer, Raymond Berry, Dick MacPherson, Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Belichick for the Patriots. He has been on the sideline for 22 of the franchise's 27 playoff seasons, and has coached in 49 of the team's 58 playoff games, winning five Super Bowls. He told ESPN that he plans to remain in New England in retirement.

In 2007, when the Patriots posted an undefeated regular season, he was named Sports Illustrated's Assistant Coach of the Year.

Christian Fauria of sports radio WEEI in Boston first reported that he was hearing Scarnecchia had retired.