The Detroit Lions were finally able to make it official: Matt Patricia will be their next head coach.
In a statement Monday, Lions general manager Bob Quinn touted Patricia's leadership and pedigree in naming his new head coach.
“When we launched the search for our next head coach, I wanted to find a leader that could take us to the next level and I am confident we have found that in Matt Patricia. He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he’s ready for the responsibility and its challenges,“ Quinn said. "Matt is driven to succeed, has extreme passion for the game and excels in preparation. He embodies the same hard-working, blue-collar attributes that represent our organization and the great City of Detroit.”
Patricia has spent the last 14 years with the New England Patriots, the last 6 of those as defensive coordinator. In that span, New England's defense ranks second in points allowed, fourth in games allowing 20 points or less, and second in games allowing 17 points or fewer. He won three Super Bowls during his time with New England. Patricia also spent time on staff with Syracuse, Amherst and his alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
In a statement, Patricia thanked the Lions for the opportunity to become a head coach as well as his former team.
“I’m incredibly honored and grateful to be named Head Coach of the Detroit Lions. 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.
“I can’t express enough appreciation to the entire New England Patriots franchise, particularly Robert and Jonathan Kraft and their entire family. I will truly cherish these last 14 years as a member of this incredible organization.
“Lastly, I’d like to express my appreciation and thanks to Bill Belichick. He’s been a remarkable mentor to me, not only as a football coach but also as a man and as a friend. I have learned immensely from his detailed leadership approach to the game, which has certainly shaped me into the football coach that I am today. Quite simply, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with, who I believe, is the greatest coach in NFL history.
“Now I turn all of my attention to the Lions. I look forward to the next chapter of my career in Detroit.”