Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Bruce Arians steps down as head coach

Bruce Arians has stepped down as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after three seasons, it was announced Wednesday.

Arians told ESPN, NBC Sports and the Los Angeles Times that he is shifting into a front-office role within the Buccaneers organization. Arians’ new role as a “senior football consultant” will begin with Tampa Bay’s 2022 draft prep.

The Buccaneers later confirmed Arians’ decision and named current defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as the team’s next head coach.

“When Bruce arrived in Tampa Bay three years ago, he spoke about establishing a winning culture and adding another Super Bowl championship for our community,” Bucs owner Joel Glazer said in a statement. “He delivered on both of those promises, and our family is deeply appreciative for all that he has accomplished during his time as our head coach.

“As impressive as his coaching accomplishments have been, his legacy will live on through the doors of opportunity that he has opened for minority coaches and women in football. We support Bruce’s decision to transition from the sidelines and look forward to continuing to lean on his vast football knowledge and experience well into the future.

“On behalf of all Buccaneers fans, I would like to thank Bruce for all that he has done for this franchise and our community.”

Arians explained the reasoning behind his decision in a phone interview with NBC Sports and the L.A. Times.

“Succession has always been huge for me,” Arians told the outlets. “With the organization in probably the best shape it’s been in its history, with Tom Brady coming back … I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [crappy] job.

“I’m probably retiring next year anyway in February. So, I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it next February because [if] Brady gets hurt, we go 10-7, and it’s an open interview for the job. I got 31 [coaches and their] families that depend on me. My wife is big on not letting all those families down.”

Arians took over as the Buccaneers’ coach in January 2019 after a brief one-year retirement. Before his short hiatus, he served as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach from 2013-17.

In three seasons at the helm, Arians led the Buccaneers to a 31-18 regular-season record and a victory in Super Bowl LV.

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