Buccaneers Name New Head Coach After Bruce Arians Retires

Bruce Arians

Getty Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is retiring.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is stepping down.

As reported by Peter King of NBC Sports on Wednesday, March 30, Bruce Arians is stepping away as a head coach and moving into a front office role with the Buccaneers. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will step in as the Buccaneers’ new head coach.

“Add this to the craziest, newsiest NFL offseason in modern league history: Bruce Arians, who coached the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl LV victory less than 14 months ago, is stepping aside to take a front-office role with the team effective immediately,” said King. “Tampa Bay will install Arians’ preferred successor, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, as the new head coach.”

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bowles will be getting a five-year contract as head coach of the Buccaneers.

“Buccaneers are doing away with the remaining two years on Todd’ Bowles’ defensive coordinator contract and are giving him a new five-year, head-coaching contract, league source tells ESPN,” says Schefter.

Arians’ new role with the Buccaneers organization will be as a “senior consultant for football.” That job will start with the Buccaneers’ preparation for the 2022 NFL draft.

Why Arians is Retiring as Head Coach

While this will be Arians’ second foray into retirement in the past four years — he retired after the 2017 season due to health reasons — this decision is not health-related, via Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.

“Bruce Arians said his decision was not health related. ‘Not at all. Want to stay that way too. Succession was always my dream,’ he told me.”

As King explains in his article, Arians’ decision to walk away is in part due to Tom Brady’s decision to come out of retirement which puts the Buccaneers in the “best shape” it’s been in its history.

“Succession has always been huge for me,” said Arians. “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.'”

During three seasons as the Buccaneers’ head coach, Arians compiled a 31-18 record, including a Super Bowl LV title, an NFC South division title and two playoff appearances.

Bowles previously served as a head coach for the New York Jets from 2015 until 2018, compiling a 24-40 record during his four seasons as Jets head coach. Bowles has overseen the Buccaneers’ defense over the past three seasons since Arians took over.

Over those three seasons, the Buccaneers’ defensive rankings have been as follows: 13th in 2019, fourth in 2020 and fourth in 2021 in points allowed.

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Brady on Arians: ‘It Was a Privilege to Play for You’

Bowles will now take over a Buccaneers team expecting to contend for its second Super Bowl title in the past three seasons.

Minutes after Arians’ announcement, Brady took to social media to respond to his head coach’s decision.

The 44-year-old quarterback thanked Arians for bringing him to the Buccaneers, calling it a “privilege” to play for the 69-year-old head coach.

“Thank you, BA for all that you have done for me and our team,” said Brady. “You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive.”


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