Meet Matt Patricia
Born September 13, 1974. Grew up in Sherrill, New York.
Married to Raina Patricia and the couple have two sons and a daughter.
Played College Football from 1992-1995 for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
(1996) Grad Assistant Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
(1999-2000) Defensive Line Coach Amherst College
(2001-2003) Offensive Graduate Assistant Syracuse
(2004) Offense Coaching Assistant New England Patriots
(2005) Assistant Offensive Line Coach New England
(2006-2010) Linebackers Coach New England
(2011) Safeties Coach New England
(2012-2018) Defensive Coordinator New England (although he had been calling the defensive plays since 2010)
(2018) Currently Head Coach of the Detroit Lions (1st Head Coaching Job)
Patricia, overall, is a well-respected guy who players have loved to play for. He got the most out of a team that, on paper, may not have looked like the best overall. But, he put them in a position to succeed and win. The team respected him so much, that they even backed his decision to look elsewhere to become a head coach after winning 3 Super Bowls.
THE INCIDENT IN QUESTION
Now go back 22 years – Patricia and his former college teammate, Greg Dietich we’re on vacation on South Padre Island. While on vacation, the two became friends with a female college student. On March 15, 1996 at roughly 6 p.m., Patricia and Dietich went into the room where the female student was sleeping and they both allegedly assaulted her. Later that evening the two were arrested as the victim identified them as the aggressors. They were both charged with sexual assault (never prosecuted) and released on bond.
In August of 1996, Patricia and Dietich were indicted on these charges. About five months later, the case was dismissed after the victim decided not to testify. So, in a little over a year’s time, after the incident had said to take place, Patricia was charged, indicted and then the case was closed – never to be reopened.
Fast forward back to current day and Patricia is a head coach in the NFL- after roughly 14 years as a New England Patriot Assistant. On May 9th, 2018 the same sexual assault allegations from 22 years prior come up.
The Detroit Lions brass issued a joint statement saying the incident did not show up on Patricia’s “standard pre-employment background check” and have vowed to back him through the matter. Bill Belichick also issued a statement;
“The New England Patriots were not aware of this matter which recently came to light.”
The NFL released a statement as well. “We will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned”. Patricia also issued a statement saying he was “falsely accused” and “I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation.”
It will be interesting to see what Roger Goodell and the NFL decide, after comparing this to the Zeke Elliot 6 game suspension for a first-time domestic violence offender – a matter in which he was never charged.
Patricia also wore the infamous Goodell clown shirt, so that will be interesting to see if Goodell still holds a grudge.
22 years does not change what happened back then, but neither you or I know the full story and we probably never will.
SO WHAT NOW?
So my question here is not for the Detroit Lions, but for the NFL and NCAA – for over 20 years this man has coached and this has never been brought up? – not once?! Now all of a sudden he is a head coach and someone digs this up and it was like it happened yesterday?
By no means do I condone this behavior that Patricia and his friend “allegedly” participated in 20 plus years ago (again never prosecuted), but this man has lived, got married, had kids and been a stand-up guy.
So why now?