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PHOTOS: Matt Patricia makes confetti angels in emotional goodbye to Gillette Stadium

Sunday was an emotional night for the Lions’ next head coach.

Matt Patricia will be the next Detroit Lions head coach. There was little doubt about that heading into Sunday, and there’s just about no doubt about it now.

After Sunday’s comeback win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots defensive coordinator stayed long after the game to soak in the moment. Having just completed his last game at Gillette Stadium as a member of the Patriots staff, he wanted it to last. So he shared the moment with his family:

It’s a beautiful moment for Patricia, who saw his coaching career skyrocket in New England. 19 years ago he made the bold decision to move on from a safe career in engineering to the wild world of football coaching. The Patriots took a chance on the guy, and for the past 14 years, Patricia thrived under Bill Belichick’s tutilage.

Sunday likely marked the last gameday those two will ever work together in the confines of Foxborough. But Patricia wasn’t only thankful for his mentor. After the game, he gave thanks to his quarterback, who helped make the Patriots the dynasty they are today (UPDATE: It appears this reporter made the following tweet in jest)

So far with the Patriots, Patricia has won three Super Bowls—two as the team’s defensive coordinator. New England will get a chance to send him off with one more on Feb. 4, when they face off against the Philadelphia Eagles—the team the Patriots defeated to give Patricia his first Super Bowl ring back in 2005.

Patricia cannot be officially hired by the Lions until after the Super Bowl, but he could meet with Detroit this week in order to close on the deal.

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