"When we launched the search for our next head coach, I wanted to find a leader that could take us to the next level and I am confident we have found that in Matt Patricia," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement released by the team. "He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he's ready for the responsibility and its challenges.
"Matt is driven to succeed, has extreme passion for the game and excels in preparation. He embodies the same hard-working, blue-collar attributes that represent our organization and the great City of Detroit."
Patricia became the favorite for the job on Jan. 14 but the move could not be made official until the Patriots' season ended. He also interviewed with the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals and became the favorite for the job as the Patriots were preparing to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship game.
Patricia is replacing Jim Caldwell. Caldwell was fired Jan. 11 after he posted a 36-28 record in four seasons.
Patricia is joining the Lions after spending the last 14 seasons with the New England Patriots. During his tenure working for Bill Belichick, the Patriots won three of their five Super Bowl titles, won six AFC titles and 13 AFC East Division championships.
A former aeronautical engineering major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Patricia spent the previous six seasons as New England's defensive coordinator. He also was the team's safeties coach in 2011, the linebackers coach from 2006-2010 after spending his first two seasons with New England as a coaching staff and an assistant offensive line coach.
In Patricia's stint as defensive coordinator, the Patriots ranked second in points allowed (19.2) and takeaways (157).
New England's defense also finished among the top 10 in points allowed during 11 of his 12 seasons.