Bruce Arians steps aside as Bucs head coach, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to take over
TAMPA, Fla. - Bruce Arians told his coaching staff and players that he is stepping aside as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. To take his place, the Bucs promoted Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles to head coach.
Arians will be stepping into a new role as the team's Senior Football Consultant, according to team officials.
He said the decision is not prompted by health issues and has been working with the Glazer Family and General Manager Jason Licht on a potential succession plan.
"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 have made the decision to move from the sidelines into another role with the Buccaneers front office, assisting 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.
So why now?
"This team is in a much better place than it was three years ago due to Jason's great work and the Glazer family's commitment to winning. 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.
I want to focus on what I can give back to this incredible game that has provided so much for me and my family. 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. Tom's decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd. I began conversations with Jason and the Glazer family a few weeks ago about a possible succession plan. Their understanding and support mean the world to me.
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.
Professionally, I have been blessed to work for many great organizations. I'd like to thank Michael Bidwell for turning my dream of being an NFL head coach into a reality in 2013. I would especially like to acknowledge the entire Glazer family for bringing me to Tampa Bay in 2019 and providing all the support and vision a coach could ask for. None of this success would have been possible without their complete buy-in and backing.
There are too many people who have played a part in my coaching career to mention them all now. To all of them, I say: Thank You. I could not have made it here without your support, hard work and belief in me.
I can't end this announcement without a nod to all of the players I have been fortunate to coach along the way. I have been part of some special teams and those are always composed of exceptional players who put the needs of the team before their own. They made me a better coach and a better leader.
Lastly, I want to thank the fans of Tampa Bay for their unwavering support over these past three years. Chris and I arrived here in 2019 and were blown away by their enthusiasm and passion. I am happy we got to share that Super Bowl season together and I look forward to contributing to even more championship moments with this special organization.
Arians was the team's 12th head coach in franchise history in January 2019 when he was hired, according to the Bucs. He previously was the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-2017, and he left as the winningest coach in franchise history, team officials said.
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Arians helped guide the Bucs to a 31-18-0 record in the regular season for a winning percentage of .632, according to the team. Arians' Buccaneers also went on to become the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in its own stadium in February 2021.
This will be Todd Bowles second head coaching opportunity in the NFL, the Bucs said. He spent two seasons with Arians in Arizona before he was hired as the New York Jets head coach in 2015.
"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 in a statement. "Tampa has become home for my family, and we are excited to remain part of this community for years to come. As an organization, we have all the pieces in place to continue the winning standard that has been established here in recent years. I am eager to get started with our players, coaching staff, and front office in preparation for the 2022 season."
He led the Jets to a 10-6 record in his first season after the team finished with a 4-12 mark in the previous season, according to the Bucs.