NFL

Buccaneers' Super Bowl-winning coach Bruce Arians moves to team's front office

Bruce Arians has decided to retire as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and move into a front-office role with the team, a stunning move announced Wednesday night.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles steps in as replacement

Former Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians announced Wednesday that he would be moving to a front office role to assist general manager Jason Licht. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Bruce Arians has decided to retire as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and move into a front-office role with the team, a stunning move announced Wednesday night.

Arians, who will turn 70 this coming season, coached the Bucs to the Super Bowl title in the 2020 season — Tom Brady's first with Tampa Bay. The Bucs were 31-18 in Arians' three seasons there and he was 80-48-1 in eight years as a head coach overall when adding in his five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will replace Arians as coach.

NBC Sports and the Los Angeles Times first reported Arians' decision and that Bowles would be promoted.

Former Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was named head coach of Tampa Bay on Wednesday after Bruce Arians announced he would be moving to the Buccaneers' front office to assist general manager Jason Licht. (Brian Westerholt/The Associated Press)

"I have spent most of the last 50 years of my life on the sidelines as a football coach in one form or another," Arians said in a statement released by the team. "Today, I have made the decision to move from the sidelines into another role with the Buccaneers front office, assisting [general manager] Jason Licht and his staff.

"I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition — everything. It has been one hell of a ride, but I know this is the right time for me to make this transition."

6th current minority head coach

Bowles becomes the sixth minority head coach currently in the NFL, joining Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, Washington's Ron Rivera, the New York Jets' Robert Saleh, Houston's Lovie Smith and Miami's Mike McDaniel. He also is the fourth Black coach in Bucs' history, joining Tony Dungy, Raheem Morris and Smith.

It is the second major retirement announcement for the Bucs this off-season, following Brady's announcement in February that he was ending his career. Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, returned 40 days later, saying he would return for a 23rd season and noting he had "unfinished business."

There was no public indication at the NFL's annual meetings on the Atlantic side of the state in Palm Beach, Florida that such a move was coming. Arians was there, briefly, and did an interview with NFL Network about what the team would have done to replace Brady if the quarterback hadn't changed his mind. Licht addressed reporters for a short time during the meetings, as did team co-owner Joel Glazer.

Arians did not do a group interview there, with the team saying he was leaving for personal reasons. He was also one of the four coaches who opted to not be part of the annual group photo of all NFL head coaches at the meetings.

Bowles was an interim head coach in Miami for three games in 2011, and went 24-40 in four seasons with the New York Jets from 2015 through 2018.

"I am appreciative of the Glazer family and Jason Licht for having faith in me to take on this role, and to Coach Arians for his support and guidance over the past four decades," Bowles said. "Tampa has become home for my family, and we are excited to remain part of this community for years to come... I am eager to get started with our players, coaching staff, and front office in preparation for the 2022 season."

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now