Sunday Afternoon, the Buccaneers will honor one of the best coaches in team history when they officially induct Bruce Arians in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor during halftime of the Buccaneer’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Bruce Arians Coaching Resume
Arians is a lifer in coaching, beginning his career as a Graduate Assistant at Virginia Tech in 1975. He was named head coach at Temple in 1983 and coached the Owls until 1988, when the NFL came calling.
Arians coached the running backs for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989-1992, and in 2001 finally got the break he had worked so hard for when he was named Offensive Coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.
In 2012, Arians was the Offensive Coordinator in Indianapolis when head coach Chuck Pagano stepped away to focus on beating cancer. Arians was named interim head coach in Pagano’s absence.
Arians became the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2013 and coached them until 2017, taking them to one NFC Championship game.
Bruce Arians Comes To Tampa
Arians came to Tampa in 2019 to coach the Buccaneers after Dirk Koetter was fired after the 2018 season. Arians led the Buccaneers to a 7-9 record in his first season as head coach in Tampa.
The 2020 season would all come together perfectly and be one of the most magical seasons in the Buccaneer’s history.
With Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski coming to Tampa, Arians coached the Bucs to an 11-5 regular season record in 2020.
The Bucs were floundering in late November with a 7-5 record, and it looked like it would be another disappointing season in Tampa.
After the bye, Bruce Arians and Tom Brady worked their magic to reel off eight straight wins, culminating in the Bucs upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl to win their second championship in franchise history.
The 2021 regular season would be Arian’s best in Tampa. The Buccaneers won the NFC South with a 12-4 record and were looking to win another Super Bowl.
The season ended prematurely for the Buccaneers in the divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams 30-27.
The off-season was a roller coaster of emotions for Buccaneer fans. First, Tom Brady announced his retirement. Then 41 days after announcing his retirement, Brady announced that he would return to play another season with the Buccaneers.
Then the second bombshell dropped. Days after Brady announced that he was coming back for another season, Arians announced that he would be stepping down as head coach.
Per Arian’s recommendation, Todd Bowles was promoted to head coach from his defensive coordinator position, and it has been a disaster so far in 2022.
Bruce Arians Legacy In Tampa
Arians retired from the Bucs with a 31-18 and a .663 win percentage. That is the best in team history and a number that will stand for a long time.
The Bucs were 5-1 in the playoffs with Arians at the helm and gave their franchise their second Super Bowl.
There has been some talk about Arians possibly returning to coach again in the NFL. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Arians put those rumors to rest this week. “Would I love to be coaching? Yeah, It’s what you do. It kills me to go upstairs. I’m on the sideline in pregame, and it kills me to have to go upstairs and just sit there. It kills me. It’s hard. It’s what I do. I’ve done it my whole life. I’m smart enough to know it’s over.”
Arians will become the 14th Bucs Ring of Honor member when he is inducted on Sunday.
Tom Brady On His Relationship With Bruce Arians
There were rumors that Brady and Arians did not see eye to eye, and Brady wanted Arians out if he was going to return to the Buccaneers.
Brady talked about his relationship with Arians in his weekly press conference this week, and that does not appear to be the case.
“Arians has been amazing. He’s a big reason why I came here. He’s just a great person. He’s a great leader. He’s obviously a great coach, Coach of the Year, a couple of times. But he’s going into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor because he’s a Super Bowl-winning coach, as he should be. That was a magical year, and it’s nice to be able to be celebrated for when you do amazing things.”
“I have a great relationship with him. I can’t say enough good things about him and how I feel about him. I think we’re going to be friends for a long time.”
The 70-year-old Arians is still a fixture at all Buccaneer home games. He is on the field before home games and will go up to his suite before kickoff, where he will watch the game.
Bruce Arians Loves Tampa
Arians wrapped up his interview with the Tampa Bay Times, talking about what a great ride his coaching tenure in Tampa has been.
“I can’t really put what it’s meant into words,” he said. “The little things of walking my grandchildren out on the field in pregame and seeing that pirate ship. Winning the Super Bowl, it’s always the dream. The Glazer family they are fantastic. I just can’t say enough about the embracement of Tampa for me and my family. It will always be home.
“It was a short ride, but what a ride!”
The Buccaneers and the Panthers will kick off at 1 PM on Sunday with the NFC South title on the line.