Bruce Arians retires as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach; Tom Brady praises 'amazing' career
Tom Brady on Arians: "You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive"
Last Updated: 31/03/22 7:17am
Bruce Arians has unexpectedly decided to retire as head coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles promoted into the role from next season.
Just over a year after Arians led the Buccaneers to Super Bowl success at their home venue, the 69-year-old announced he was stepping down to move into a front office job as senior football consultant.
Arians spent three years as head coach over the Buccaneers, having initially retired from the sport in 2017 following five years in the same role for the Arizona Cardinals, before telling his coaching staff and players on Wednesday that he was calling time on his lengthy career.
In a statement, 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.
"So why now? The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey. Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list. For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record.
"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."
Arians produced a 31-18 record during his three seasons, winning the Super Bowl after the 2020 season, then was eliminated by the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional playoffs after last season.
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.
Bowles said: "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.
"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."
Brady: Privilege to play for Arians
Tom Brady paid tribute to Arians in a social media post, saying the veteran coach was a major part of his decision to play for Tampa Bay and congratulating him on an "amazing career".
"You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you," Brady wrote on Instagram. "You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive.
"Smart, tough, and loyal are a few of the words to describe your style. I will always remember the conversations we had when you recruited me two years ago and all of the things we discussed came true.
"We all benefited from your leadership and guidance and I'm so proud of everything we accomplished. You were a huge part of the decision to join the Bucs and I'm forever grateful.
"I'm so happy you will spend the much-deserved time with your loving and supportive family that has given so much to our communities. Congratulations on an amazing coaching career but more importantly, how you positively impacted me and everyone else in the game of football."