Ray Ventrone, whose 49ers season ended in December with a groin injury, is beginning his coaching career with his first NFL team.
The New England Patriots announced Tuesday morning that Ventrone, who was known as “Bubba” during his two seasons with the 49ers, has joined Bill Belichick’s staff as an assistant special teams coach.
The Patriots promoted Joe Judge to special-teams coach after Scott O'Brien announced his retirement following the Patriots' Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Ventrone, 32, was second on the 49ers in special-teams tackles in 2013. Last season, he appeared in just eight games. Ventrone originally signed with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie from Villanova in 2005. He played three seasons with the Patriots.
During his nine-year NFL career, he also played for the New York Jets for one season and the Cleveland Browns from 2009 to 2012. Ventrone was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent with the 49ers this offseason.