Former Jets HC Todd Bowles Gets Surprise Promotion

Todd Bowles New York Jets

Getty Former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watching a game from the sidelines.

A former New York Jets head coach will get his second chance at being the top dog in the clubhouse.

Todd Bowles is replacing Bruce Arians as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Peter King of NBC Sports was the first to break the news on social media in conjunction with Sam Farmer of the LA Times.

This won’t be a temporary promotion for Bowles either, Adam Schefter of ESPN shared on March 30 that the former Jets coach is signing a brand new five-year contract extension that was “finalized earlier today.”

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A Surprising Turn of Events

It initially seemed like Bowles missed his opportunity to become a head coach this offseason when all the other spots filled up.

The 58-year-old had interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and the Las Vegas Raiders to name a few. However, all of those clubs decided to go in different directions.

Although all good things come to those who wait and that couldn’t have been more true for Bowles.

He had put in over 28 years as both a player and an assistant before finally getting his first crack as a head coach with the Jets back in 2015.

Bowles’ tenure started off red hot, going 10-6 in his first year and just barely missing the postseason, but it all fell apart after that.

All in all, he was the head coach for four seasons:

  • 2015: 10-6
  • 2016: 5-11
  • 2017: 5-11
  • 2018: 4-12

After getting fired by the Jets, Bowles found comfort in the arms of his mentor down with the Buccaneers.

He was initially hired as the defensive coordinator in 2019 and will now rise to the top of the organization as the next head coach.

Some New Information

The 69-year-old Arians will now assume a “front office role” with the team which will be effective “immediately.”

Bowles now becomes the sixth minority head coach in the NFL:

  • Robert Saleh (Jets)
  • Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins)
  • Lovie Smith (Houston Texans)
  • Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team)

The timing seems odd on the surface, but as Arians explained exclusively to NBC Sports, “with the organization in probably the best shape it’s been in its history, with Tom Brady coming back  I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [crappy] job. I’m probably retiring next year anyway, in February. So, I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it next February because [if] Brady gets hurt, we go 10-7, and it’s an open interview for the job  I got 31 [coaches and their] families that depend on me. My wife is big on not letting all those families down.”

In the NFL you only get so many whacks at the pinata and no one knew that better than Bowles. After flopping with the Jets, he has had multiple opportunities to become a head coach again, but he patiently waited for the right opportunity.

Arians has always had Bowles back and that was no different with this decision. He told King that “whenever he chose to step down” he wanted Bowles to be his replacement and now he will be.

Here is a part of Arians’ official statement once the news became public on Wednesday evening:

“I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed. So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn’t want that for Todd.”

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