Former Rensselaer Lineman Matt Patricia '96 Named Detroit Lions Head Coach

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DETROIT, Mich. - Former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) offensive lineman and assistant football coach Matt Patricia '96 has been named the head coach of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

An aeronautical engineering major, Patricia takes over the Lions after spending 15 years with the New England Patriots, where he helped the team to six Super Bowls (2005, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018), including championships in Super Bowls XXXIX (2005), XLIX (2015), LI (2017). The Patriots were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's Super Bowl, 41-33.

Patricia joined New England in 2004 and spent his first season as an offensive coaching assistant. He was the team's assistant offensive line coach in 2005 before taking over the linebackers the following season. After five years with the linebackers, he mentored the safeties in 2011. Patricia was named the defensive coordinator prior to the 2012 season and held that position until being hired by the Lions.

A native of Sherrill, N.Y., Patricia joined the Patriots after spending six seasons in the college ranks. Immediately preceding his move to the NFL, he was an offensive graduate assistant at Syracuse University for three seasons. Prior to joining the Orange, he spent two seasons (1999 & 2000) as the defensive line coach at Amherst College. Patricia's first coaching experience came in 1996, when he served as a graduate assistant at RPI.

Patricia played both center and guard for the Engineers, helping is class to an overall record of 31-8. Rensselaer set numerous rushing records and won three ECAC Championships during his collegiate career.

He earned his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering and later a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts.

Patricia is the third Rensselaer alum to coach in the highest level of sport. Kevin Constantine '82, a former goaltender on Rensselaer's hockey team, coached the San Jose Sharks (1993-96), Pittsburgh Penguins (1997-00) and New Jersey Devils (2001-02) of the National Hockey League and Adam Oates '85, a former forward for the Engineers and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, coached the Washington Capitals (2012-14) and was co-coach of the Devils (2014-15).

There are now three former Division III football student-athletes who are head coaches of NFL teams with Bill Belichick (Wesleyan University) and Dan Quinn (Salisbury University) of the Atlanta Falcons being the others. Josh McDaniels (John Carroll University) is expected to be named head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Patricia worked under Belichick and with McDaniels while with New England.

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