Matt Patricia
refer to caption
Patricia with the Detroit Lions in 2020
New England Patriots
Position:Senior football advisor
Personal information
Born: (1974-09-13) September 13, 1974 (age 47)
Sherrill, New York
Career information
High school:Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (NY)
College:RPI
Career history
As a coach:
  • RPI (1996)
    Graduate assistant
  • Amherst (1999–2000)
    Defensive line coach
  • Syracuse (2001–2003)
    Offensive graduate assistant
  • New England Patriots (2004)
    Offensive assistant
  • New England Patriots (2005)
    Assistant offensive line coach
  • New England Patriots (20062010)
    Linebackers coach
  • New England Patriots (2011)
    Safeties coach
  • New England Patriots (20122017)
    Defensive coordinator
  • Detroit Lions (20182020)
    Head coach
  • New England Patriots (2021–present)
    Senior football advisor
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Career:13–29–1 (.314)
Coaching stats at PFR

Matthew Edward Patricia (born September 13, 1974) is an American football coach who is the senior football advisor for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He has served 15 non-consecutive seasons as an assistant coach with the Patriots, including six seasons as the team's defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017. Patricia won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, two as defensive coordinator, and presided over a defense in 2016 that led the league in fewest points allowed. In between his New England tenure, he was the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2018 to 2020.

Playing career

Patricia played at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he was a four-year letterman as a center and guard with the Engineers football team from 1992 to 1995.[1] While in college, Patricia was indicted for sexual assault stemming from an incident during a visit to South Padre Island. The case was later dismissed when the alleged victim felt unable to testify.[2]

Coaching career

Early coaching career

Patricia remained at RPI to begin his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1996.[3] He spent the next two years as an application engineer with Hoffman Air & Filtration Systems in East Syracuse, New York.[4] After graduating, Patricia received an offer to maintain nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers with the Westinghouse Electric Company,[5] but decided to return to football as the defensive line coach for Amherst College from 1999 to 2000. In 2001, he moved to Syracuse University as an offensive graduate assistant for the team, a position he held for three seasons.[6]

New England Patriots

Patricia joined the Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick as an offensive coaching assistant in 2004, the same year the team won its 3rd Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2005, upon the departure of assistant offensive line/tight ends coach Jeff Davidson, Patricia was reassigned as the Patriots' assistant offensive line coach. Then-linebackers coach Dean Pees was promoted to defensive coordinator after the season, prompting another reassignment for Patricia, this time to linebackers coach for the 2006 season. Patricia was named the team's safeties coach in 2011. In 2012, he was promoted to the title of defensive coordinator, though he had been calling the plays on defense since the departure of Pees following the 2009 season. In January 2016, the Patriots gave permission for Patricia to interview for the head-coaching position of the Cleveland Browns, but Patricia would remain with the Patriots as defensive coordinator going into the 2016 season. The Patriots won three Super Bowls with Patricia: Super Bowl XXXIX at the end of the 2004 season, Super Bowl XLIX at the end of the 2014 season, and Super Bowl LI at the end of the 2016 season. On January 1, 2018 (NFL Black Monday), it was revealed that Patricia was the subject of the Detroit Lions' and New York Giants' head coaching searches.[7] To date, he is the Patriots' most recent defensive playcaller to receive the title of defensive coordinator.

Detroit Lions

Patricia in 2018
Patricia in 2018

On February 5, 2018, Patricia was named the head coach of the Detroit Lions.[8] In May 2018, his position received public scrutiny when reporters discovered he had been indicted for sexual assault in 1996.[9] In response, Detroit Lions team president Rod Wood initially stated "I don't know anything about this," but a few hours later said, "I am very comfortable with the process of interviewing and employing Matt. I will tell you with 1,000-percent certainty that everything I've learned confirmed what I already knew about the man and would have no way changed our decision to make him our head coach."[10] He lost his first two games of the 2018 season, the first against the New York Jets, 48–17, on Monday Night Football on September 10, and the following week against the San Francisco 49ers, 30–27, on September 16.[11] His first win as a head coach came on September 23, 2018, a 26–10 victory against his previous team, the New England Patriots, with Patricia beating his old mentor, Bill Belichick, in the process.[11] It was also the Lions' first win over the Patriots since 2000, which was Belichick's first year coaching the Patriots.[11]

Under Patricia, the Lions posted a 6–10 record in 2018 and had a dismal 3–12–1 season in 2019. Both marked a regression from Patricia's predecessor Jim Caldwell, who posted a 9–7 record in 2017 before he was fired in favor of Patricia.[12] Despite the record and decline, team owner Martha Firestone Ford and her soon-to-be successor Sheila Ford Hamp announced after the season that they would give Patricia a chance to show improvement in the 2020 season.[13]

On November 28, 2020, Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn were both fired by the Lions. This came after much criticism about Patricia's abilities. The firing happened after the 4–5 Lions suffered back-to-back lopsided losses to drop to 4–7: a 20–0 loss to the Carolina Panthers on November 22 (the first time the Lions had been shut out since 2009) and a 41–25 loss to the Houston Texans during the Lions annual Thanksgiving Day game on November 26. Patricia finished his tenure in Detroit with a 13–29–1 (.314) record in two and a half seasons.[14][15] The Lions finished last in the NFC North division in both of Patricia's full seasons and were in last place at the time of his firing.

New England Patriots (second stint)

On January 22, 2021, it was reported that Patricia would be returning to the Patriots "in a variety of roles". The exact roles were not specified, but it is reported that Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Patricia are working out a role similar to what Mike Lombardi had in New England, though it is still a work in progress. In addition, Patricia is expected to work on projects as well as be a resource to Belichick.[16][17]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
DET 2018 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC North
DET 2019 3 12 1 .219 4th in NFC North
DET 2020 4 7 0 .364 Fired
Total 13 29 1 .314 0 0 .000

Private life

On March 15, 1996, a 21-year-old woman told police that two men had burst into her hotel room and taken turns violently sexually assaulting her.[2] Patricia and Greg Dietrich were arrested that same night, charged, and released on bond.[2] A Texas grand jury indicted Patricia on one count of aggravated sexual assault, a felony which can receive a maximum sentence of up to life in prison. The trial began in January 1997, but the prosecutors were granted their request to dismiss the case after the victim found herself unable "to face the pressures or stress of a trial".[2]

Patricia married his wife, Raina, in 2009.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Vrentas, Jenny (January 23, 2018). "The Launching of Matt Patricia". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Snell, Robert (May 9, 2018). "Lions' Patricia indicted, not tried in '96 sex assault". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  3. ^ Beattie, Kevin (October 29, 2015). "Andrew Franks '15 & Matt Patricia '96 To Go Head-to-Head in NFL". Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Athletics. Archived from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Rohan, Tim (November 29, 2016). "Matt Patricia, Belichick's Rocket Scientist". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 28, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Hubbuch, Bart (January 25, 2017). "How an engineer gave up his job and became Patriots mastermind". New York Post. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Reiss, Mike (January 22, 2010). "Drawn to X's and O's". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  7. ^ Alper, Josh (January 1, 2018). "Lions reportedly request interviews with Pat Shurmur, Matt Patricia". ProFootballTalk.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Lewis, Edward (February 5, 2018). "Patriots DC Matt Patricia named head coach of Lions". NFL.com. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Solomon, Dan (May 14, 2018). "How Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia Mishandled "Texas Week" Sexual Assault Allegations". Texas Monthly. Texas Monthly LLC. Archived from the original on December 3, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  10. ^ Gibbs, Lindsay. "The Detroit Lions' dangerous instant defense of their coach's sexual assault indictment". Think Progress. Center for American Progress. Archived from the original on June 1, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c "Detroit Lions: How did they beat the New England Patriots?". sidelionreport.com. September 25, 2018. Archived from the original on June 1, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Windsor, Shawn (November 19, 2020). "Bob Quinn fired Jim Caldwell because 9 wins wasn't enough. Now the Detroit Lions are worse". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Maakaron, John (November 30, 2020). "'We Can't Hide Our Past': Trusting in Sheila Ford Hamp Will Take Time". SI.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  14. ^ "Detroit Lions fire head coach Matt Patricia, general manager Bob Quinn". NFL.com. November 28, 2020. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Twentyman, Tim. "Lions announce changes at head coach & GM". www.detroitlions.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  16. ^ Dussault, Mike. "Report: Matt Patricia returns to Patriots coaching staff". New England Patriots. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  17. ^ McBride, Jim. "Matt Patricia is returning to Patriots to assist coaching staff". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.