Bruce Arians is returning to the NFL coaching ranks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hiring Arians as their next head coach, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting. Arians is signing a four-year deal with an option for a fifth, according to Rapoport. He replaces Dirk Koetter who the team fired after consecutive 5-11 campaigns.
The #Bucs are signing Bruce Arians to a 4-year deal with a fifth-yaer option, source said. Among the coaches Arians hopes to finalize deals with: Harold Goodwin as Run Game Coordinator/OLine, Byron Leftwich as Pass Game Coordinator and Clyde Christianson as QB coach.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 8, 2019
Bruce Arians to Become Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach
The news means that Arians is coming out of retirement just one year removed from his last coaching job. He announced he was stepping down as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 season. The club went a combined 15-16-1 during his final two seasons at the helm in Arizona.
Rapoport also indicated that Arians already has a few names in mind with respect to putting together his coaching staff. It includes hiring Harold Goodwin as Bucs run game coordinator/offensive line, bringing in Byron Leftwich as pass game coordinator, as well as Clyde Christianson as quarterbacks coach. Leftwich assumed offensive coordinator duties for the Cardinals this year after the team fired Mike McCoy. But he ended up also losing his job when the Cards fired head coach Steve Wilks after just one season.
Arians has connections with a couple key figures within the Bucs organization. General manager Jason Licht was vice president of player personnel for the Cardinals during Arians’ first year as head coach in 2013. The following year, he assumed his current position in Tampa. Arians is also highly familiar with quarterback Jameis Winston having worked with him at youth football camps prior to Winston’s college career.
There’s no doubting Arians’ coaching acumen. He earned Coach of the Year honors in 2012 with the Indianapolis Colts after taking over for Chuck Pagano who was forced to undergo treatment for leukemia early that season. He became the first interim coach in NFL history to win the award. During his tenure with the Cardinals, he led them to consecutive playoff appearances in 2014 and 2015 and an NFC Championship game appearance. Bucs fans are hoping he can conjure up that kind of success for a team whose 11-year playoff drought is currently the second-longest in the NFL.