Lions announce hiring of Patricia as coach

Matt Patricia's hiring as head coach of the Detroit Lions was made official on Monday after his time as the New England Patriots' defensive coordinator came to an end Sunday night in the team's Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

"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," Lions executive vice president and general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement. "He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he's ready for the responsibility and its challenges.

"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."

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Patricia, 43, replaces Jim Caldwell, who was fired Jan. 1. Patricia has been a member of the New England coaching staff since 2004 and the team's defensive coordinator for the last six seasons.

"This position comes with great responsibility, and I will commit every ounce of my energy to this football team, starting today," Patricia said in a statement. "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."

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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots gets a Gatorade shower as he celebrates with eefensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels near the end of the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talk in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos hosted the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, November 12, 2017. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots makes a play call from the sideline in the first quarter of a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: New England Patriots offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels waves to the fans during New England Patriots training camp on July 29, 2017, at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, NY - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels walks the sidelines during a National Football League game between the between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots on December 24, 2017, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia watches a play during a game between the Denver Broncos and the visiting New England Patriots on November 12, 2017 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks to Matt Patricia (defensive coordinator) before they play the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Dec. 24, 2017. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Matt Patricia talk prior to their game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots converses with linebackers coach Brian Flores prior to a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 26: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia speaks to the media at the start of training camp at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., July 26, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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This season, the Patriots' defense ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed (366.0), but a much more impressive fifth in scoring defense (18.5 points a game). Only one of the Patriots' final 12 opponents scored more than 24 points.

For the second season in a row, New England allowed just six rushing touchdowns, the league's second-lowest total. Patricia's 2016 defense finished as the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL by allowing only 15.6 points per game.

Patricia originally joined the Patriots in 2004 as a coaching assistant and the next season he served as assistant offensive line coach. In 2006, Patricia shifted to the Patriots' defensive staff, spending five seasons as the linebackers coach and one year coaching the safeties.

"We met with several very impressive candidates, but Matt really stood out in his interview and clearly became the best choice for this job," Lions president Rod Wood said in a statement. "In addition to being an exceptional coach, Matt's tremendous work ethic will resonate with our fans. He will be an outstanding representative of our football team, the Lions organization and our community."

--Field Level Media

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