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Bruce Arians steps down as Tampa Bay Bucs head coach

Todd Bowles has been named Tampa Bay's new head coach.

Bruce Arians has stepped down as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and stepped into a new role in the front office, the team announced Wednesday. Arians will become a senior football consultant, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is now the team's head coach.

Arians, 69, said the decision was not health related.

"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," Arians said.

"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."

Arians cited the Bucs' Super Bowl victory last season as checking off a bucket list item, and believes he leaves the team in capable hands with Bowles now running the team. 

"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," said Bowles. "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."

A former Virginia Tech quarterback, Arians coached at the college level for 14 seasons -- six as the head coach at Temple -- before entering the league as the Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach in 1989. Aside from one season as Alabama's offensive coordinator, he never left. 

Arians was Peyton Manning's first quarterbacks coach with the Indianapolis Colts, helped the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs as an offensive coordinator, won a Super Bowl as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, took the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl as a head coach, and won the Big Game with Tampa Bay, in Tampa Bay. 

Including his 9-3 record as the interim head coach in Indy, Arians went 89-51-1 as a head coach. 

Arians also leaves a legacy of far more diverse hiring than many of his peers. The Bucs became the first team to reach a championship game with three Black coordinators (Bowles, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, special teams coordinator (Keith Armstrong), plus a Black assistant head coach (Harold Godwin).

“I think it’s more coincidental because these are my guys,” Arians told USA Today

The hire of Bowles also gives Tampa Bay four minority head coaches in its relatively short history, two more than any other NFL franchise, according to Peter King.

Bowles played under Arians at Temple and entered coaching at Morehouse College in 1997 and made a living coaching defensive backs before Arians made him his defensive coordinator in Arizona in 2013. That produced a 4-year run as the New York Jets head coach. He became available in 2019, just as Arians took the Tampa Bay job. And now Bowles will succeed Arians, leading a team that will once again contend for the Super Bowl. 

"Todd is a great football coach and I know he will do excellent things here with the Buccaneers," Arians said. "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."

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.