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Lions announce Matt Patricia as franchise's next head coach

Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Football

The wait is finally over.

The Detroit Lions officially named Matt Patricia their new head coach Monday, one day after Patricia's New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, 41-33.

The Lions targeted Patricia from the beginning of their search, both for his tremendous on-field success and his relationship with general manager Bob Quinn, and interviewed him exactly one month ago on Jan. 5.

Patricia, 43, has spent the past 14 seasons on Bill Belichick's staff in New England, including the past six as defensive coordinator. He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and worked 12 years with Quinn, who left the Patriots to become Lions general manager in January of 2016.

Quinn said at that time he had a "great" relationship with Patricia and that Patricia was "ready and willing" to be an NFL head coach.

"I'm incredibly honored and grateful to be named head coach of the Detroit Lions," Patricia said in a statement released by the team. "Thank you to Mrs. Ford and her family, Rod Wood, and Bob Quinn for their trust and support as we begin this new chapter of Lions football.

 

"This position comes with great responsibility, and I will commit every ounce of my energy to this football team, starting today. My family is excited to become part of this wonderful city that displays so much passion for their teams."

Patricia, the 27th coach in Lions history, is known for his insatiable work ethic, all-around intelligence and unique sideline appearance. He wears a shaggy beard and a red hoodie, and often keeps a pencil tucked behind his ear.

He played college football at Division III Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied aeronautical engineering, and spent two years as an engineer before jumping full-time into coaching.

Had he not gone into football, former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich told the Free Press in 2016 that Patricia likely would be a rocket scientist of some sort now.

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