The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Wednesday that head coach Bruce Arians has stepped down and will join the team’s front office.
Arians, who won the Super Bowl with quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in February 2021, will take on a new job as senior football consultant, according to the organisation. After a temporary retirement, Brady revealed earlier this month that he would return to Tampa Bay for another season.
According to the statement, Arians “accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey” of 50 years. As an interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, he won the Associated Press Coach of the Year award. From 2013 to 2017, he was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. In 2019, Arians stepped out of retirement to take over as head coach of the Buccaneers.
“Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list. For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record,” he said.
In his statement, the 69-year-old Arians disputed that his health was a factor in his decision to step down.
“Before you start thinking this is about my health, don’t. This is the best I have felt in many years and I’m looking forward to helping this team continue winning through my new role .”
According to the Bucs, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been chosen the team’s next head coach, and a news conference is set for Thursday afternoon. In his statement, Arians lauded Bowles and welcomed his promotion.
“Todd is a great football coach and I know he will do excellent things here with the Buccaneers. The coaching staff has been crucial to the success we have enjoyed here the past few seasons. Coaching is about teaching players, and this staff has some of the best teachers in the business” he stated
Bowles will be the league’s sixth minority head coach
Bowles, who has head coaching experience and managed the New York Jets from 2015 to 2018, will join Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Houston’s Lovie Smith as the NFL’s sixth minority and third Black head coach.
In a league where nearly 70% of the players are Black, the NFL has been chastised for its dearth of minority head coaches.
Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, sued the NFL and three of its teams for racial discrimination earlier this year. The NFL, as well as the three teams involved, have refuted Flores’ allegations. Flores was eventually replaced by Mike McDaniel, a biracial quarterback.
In February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league has gone “a long shot” of assuring head coaching chances for Black and minority applicants, vowing to reassess the league’s policy. For the 2022 season, the league has mandated that every team appoint a minority or female offensive assistant coach.
The Buccaneers become the first NFL team to employ two female coaches in 2019 under Arians’ leadership. Jen Welter became the first female NFL coach when Arians hired her with the Cardinals in 2015.
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