FOXBORO, Mass — A three-time Super Bowl champion in New England is returning to the sidelines in 2024. This time, to try his hand as a coach.
Former Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower will rejoin the Patriots as part of his former teammate and fellow linebacker-turned-linebackers coach Jerod Mayo’s new staff.
Hightower’s agency, SportsTrust Advisors, posted that the three-time champion will be returning to coach New England’s linebackers in 2024.
Hightower, who played nine seasons with the Patriots, joins defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino and safeties coach Brian Belichick on the defensive staff.
According to NFL insider Albert Breer, New England may still choose to hire an outside linebacker’s head coach and let Hightower handle coaching the inside linebackers.
The path for Hightower’s first coaching gig opened up once Mayo was elevated from inside linebackers coach to head coach in the wake of Bill Belichick’s departure and after Steve Belichick left his role as outside linebackers coach to take the defensive coordinator job at the University of Washington.
Hightower and Mayo shared the linebackers’ room for four seasons after the Patriots drafted the former with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Hightower earned All-Pro honors in 2016 but will forever be immortalized in New England for his season-saving plays on the brightest stages like his goalline tackle of Marshawn Lynch in the closing moments of Super Bowl XLIX and his strip-sack of Falcons QB Matt Ryan during New England’s herculean comeback in Super Bowl LI.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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