RPI grad with aeronautical degree defensive coordinator for NE Patriots

FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, left, talks to wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Foxborough, Mass. Patriots coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia have been considered among the best minds in football for a while now. The jobs they're doing this season _ their latest gems came in a 16-3 victory over the Broncos on Sunday _ have only bolstered their standing. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – What makes the New England Patriots so good? A mix of their coach, their quarterback, and coaching help from the sidelines.

By the looks of him, the only thing you would think Matt Patricia knows is how to scream like a grizzly bear. But the Patriots defensive coordinator has a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“Matt had an ability to not just be intelligent but also relate to people,” former teammate Scott Sasenbury said.

Those two traits have gotten Patricia to his current position, according to Sasenbury.

“Having both you can see how quickly somebody could rise through the ranks,” he said.

But the 42-year-old’s rise was anything but ordinary. He once turned down a six figure job maintaining nuclear submarines for a Division III college coaching position at Amherst College that paid $94,000 less.

“I may have [thought he was crazy],” former RPI football coach Joe King said with a laugh. “He was pretty sure what he wanted to do, and he had the support of people to enable him to do it.”

King said it’s safe to say Patricia’s gamble paid off, and he’s not surprised.

“You could see it early on,” King said. “If he ever wanted to coach, could be a great one.”

“For some people they may look at it as if he got a chance just because somebody moved on, but he really earned those opportunities and I’m proud of him for it,” Sasenbury said.

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