Tampa, Florida – The team announced Wednesday night that Bruce Arians will be stepping down after three seasons as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and moving to a front office role with the organization.
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will replace Aryan as head coach. A league source told ESPN’s Adam Shifter that the Bucs terminated a new five-year coaching contract with the Bowles earlier on Wednesday.
Arians told ESPN he doesn’t see the change as retirement.
“No, move to the front office,” he said in a text message. “I’m still working.”
Arians played a key role in assessing draft prospects, and moving to the front office ensures that this continues. His new job title will be Senior Football Consultant.
Despite multiple health concerns throughout his career, Aryan, 69, said the move was in no way motivated by his health. The Arians and Buccaneers have been working on a succession plan for the past several weeks, and the Arians have informed players and members of his coaching staff the news ahead of the team’s announcement.
Arians went 31-18 (.633) in three seasons in Tampa Bay, the highest winning percentage of any coach in Buccaneer history, and led the team to victory in the Super Bowl LV after the 2020 season. He won five playoff games with Buck. Every other coach in franchise history has won six coaches combined.
“I have spent most of the last 50 years of my life on the sidelines as a football coach in one form or another. Today, I made the decision to move from the sidelines to another role with the Buccaneers front desk, and assisting [general manager] “I love football. I love relationships, strategy, competition – everything. It has been a fun journey, but I know this is the time for me to make this transition,” Arians said in a statement.
A source told ESPN that Bowles was informed on Monday of Arians’ decision to step down and be promoted. Aryan has long been considered his successor if Bowles doesn’t get a job as head coach elsewhere. The Bulls have interviewed major coaching positions vacancies at the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears this off-season.
Bowles, 58, was the former New York Jets head coach from 2015-18, when he went 24-40. He also served as interim coach for the Miami Dolphins for three games to end the 2011 season, going 2-1.
The Bowles’ presence ensures continuity in a Bucs that has largely remained unchanged since their Super Bowl victory, with the exceptions of leaving assistants Mike Caldwell, Cody Grimm and Antoine Randall L.
“I appreciate the family and Jason Licht for trusting me to take on this role, and for training Arianes to support and guide him over the past four decades,” Bowles said in a statement. “Tampa has become home to my family, and we are excited to remain a part of this community for years to come. As an organization, we have all the pieces to continue the winning standard that has been established here in recent years. I am eager to start with our players, coaching staff and front office in preparation for the 2022 season.”
The Bulls are currently the sixth major minority coach in the NFL, joining Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh, Ron Rivera of Washington, Robert Saleh of the Jets, Luffy Smith of Houston, and Mike McDaniel of Miami. He is also the fourth black coach in Bock’s history, joining Tony Dungey, Raheem Morris and Smith.
The Bucs were not subject to the requirements of Rooney’s rule, as the vacancy for the coaching position occurred after 1 March, when much of the talent pool the club would look for potential candidates was largely unavailable. Also, the anti-tamper policy states that after March 1, clubs will not be obligated to grant permission to a coach under contract to conduct an interview.
Arians’ departure is the Bucs’ second major announcement this off season, after quarterback Tom BradyHis announcement in February was ending his career. Seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady returned after 40 days, saying he would play the 23rd season and noting that he had “unfinished business.”
A source told ESPN that Arianes informed Brady of his decision to step down shortly after Brady announced his comeback.
brady, In an Instagram post On Wednesday night, the Arians said it was a big part of his decision to play in Tampa Bay and that he would be “forever grateful.”
“You are a great guy and coach, and it was an honor to play for you,” Brady wrote. “You are a true legend in the NFL and a pioneer in all the work you did to make the league more diverse and inclusive. Smart, tough and loyal are just a few words to describe your style. I will always remember the conversations we had when you recruited me two years ago and all the things we discussed came true.”
There was a conflict between Arians and Brady, but this week Aryans denied it in an interview with the NFL Network at the NFL owners meetings, denying speculation that Brady wanted to play elsewhere in 2022. Arians left the owners meetings early in the day and canceled Availability of its pre-scheduled media for personal reasons.
“I have no idea where it came from,” Arianes said. “Someone should write a story every day about something. Tom and I have a great relationship. Even in retirement: ‘Where are you?’” ‘I’m in Italy.’ ‘How’s it going?’ “I got the kids here.” You know, I just check on him. I can’t take him back to the golf course because he travels a lot, so I can’t make enough money from him.”
When General Manager Jason Licht was asked about potential friction between the two, he said last week, “You’d be surprised we didn’t talk about it that much. You can’t believe everything you hear, see and read. There will always be some friction between the people in the crew, the players and the coach. It’s normal. And like I said, it can be healthy. We didn’t think much about it.”
While Arianes previously retired as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 season before returning to coach Bok in 2019, several assistants on his team told ESPN they were shocked and surprised by the news of his move to a new position.
In his statement, Arianes said he “really started thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this off season.”
“I wanted to ensure when I left that the Todd Bulls would have the best chance of success,” he said. “A lot of coaches come in situations where they are set up to fail, and I didn’t want that to Todd.
“Tom’s decision to return, along with Jason and his crew who are doing another fantastic job keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, assured me that this was the time to pass the torch to Todd.”
With the Arians stepping down, 10 teams from the NFL – roughly a third of the league – will have a new head coach this coming season. This represents the largest number of changes in training from one year to the next since 2008-2009, when there were 11 changes in position.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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