Arians retires Bucs coach, Bowles promotes to first place – Boston News, Weather, Sports

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Bruce Arians has decided to retire as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and take on a front office position with the team, a stunning move announced Wednesday night.

Arians, who will turn 70 next 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 head coach overall when he added up his five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles replaces Arians as coach.

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

“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 from the team. “Today I made the decision to move from the sidelines to another role at the Buccaneers front office, as an assistant to (CEO) Jason Licht and his staff.

“I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition – everything. It’s been a great ride, but I know it’s the right time for me to make this switch.”

Bowles becomes the sixth minority head coach currently in the NFL, along with Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh, Ron Rivera of Washington, Robert Saleh of the New York Jets, Lovie Smith of Houston, and Mike McDaniel of Miami. He is also the fourth black coach in Bucs history, along with 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 would be ending his career. Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, returned 40 days later, saying he would be returning for a 23rd season and noting that he had “unfinished business”.

Brady said in an Instagram post Wednesday night that Arians was an important part of his decision to play for Tampa Bay and that he will be “forever grateful”.

“You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you,” Brady wrote. “You are a true NFL legend and a pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive. Smart, tough and loyal are some words that 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 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 imminent. Arians was there briefly doing an interview with NFL Network about what the team would have done to replace Brady if the quarterback hadn’t changed his mind. Licht briefly addressed reporters 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 four coaches who chose not to be part of the annual group photo of all NFL head coaches at the meetings.

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

“I appreciate the Glazer family and Jason Licht for trusting me to take on this role, and Coach Arians for his support and guidance over the past four decades,” said Bowles. “Tampa has become a home to my family and we are excited to be a part of this community for years to come. … I can’t wait to get started with our players, coaching staff and front office in preparation for the 2022 season.”

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