top of page

Dante Scarnecchia, local neighbor and soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer

By: Paula Kowalewski Sullivan Compiled from numerous sources including an interview, news/sports networks such as NECN, CBS and ESPN; publications such as The Boston Globe and The Sun Chronicle; and online sources such as, Yahoo Sports, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and others.

Many of us Wrenthamites just love this town. Some of us were born here, others just found it by luck. Some found it and managed to find a way to live here, and some found Wrentham was a sanctuary for them and their families on their paths of life, even when fame found them.

© Getty

So this month we’re covering a local, living Notable in this piece, a wonderful husband, father, and Patriots football coach named Dante Scarnecchia. It was recently announced that our neighbor, Mr. Scarnecchia, is to receive an Award of Excellence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.

Mr. Scarnecchia told us he initially moved to Massachusetts in 1982 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas to work for the Patriots as a special teams coach. He was coaching in the NFL since then and other than a brief stint in Indianapolis, he's been a fixture on the Patriots' sideline, lasting through six different head coaches (from Ron Meyer to Raymond Berry, Dick MacPherson, Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick) and three separate stints in New England -- 1982-88, 1991-2013, and 2016-19. Safe to say those bosses all had different styles and approaches to the game, but Scarnecchia has been a trusted member of each and every one of those coaching staffs. Primarily an offensive line coach during his 34 seasons with the team, Scarnecchia has won six Super Bowl titles.

On Monday 3/27/23, CBS News Boston reported, “When speaking to reporters at the league meetings in Arizona, [Bill] Belichick unsurprisingly had plenty to say about his former assistant. ‘Well-deserved. Yeah, Dante's a great football coach,’ Belichick said. ‘Obviously had a long, long history with the Patriots in multiple roles. But when I was here in '96 with Bill [Parcells], it was Dante, Romeo [Crennel], Al [Groh] and I on the defensive staff… three great people to work with. So I got to know him pretty well then, and then of course when I came back, he was coaching the offensive line, so I kept him as the offensive line coach.’ Though Scarnecchia didn't run the offense or defense for Belichick, he served as an assistant head coach for 14 years and as the offensive line coach under Belichick for 18 years…. Widely considered the best O-line coach in the league, Scarnecchia retired after the 2019 season. Belichick continued: ‘He made a huge impact on our team and me. Just a wonderful guy to work with on all levels. Hard-working, dedicated, unselfish, good fundamental coach. Understands offense, defense, kicking game. Very good teacher, detailed, tireless worker. Well-deserved.’"

As Wrenthamites, initially the Scarnecchia family lived over by the Crocker Pond area for 8-9 years and then Dante went to work for the Colts for a couple of years. When he returned (happily) to the Patriots in 1990, he and his family “loved the Carriage House Lane area,” and eventually built their own home nearby. He tells us, “We’ve lived here a long time and love this town. Our kids were educated in the school system here – my son Steve eventually went to Syracuse University after KPHS. He is Chief of Staff for the NY Jets. My daughter Lisa went to Roger Williams after KPHS and then got a job the day after she graduated!”