Bruce is back: Tampa Bay Buccaneers hire former Hokies QB Bruce Arians as head coach

Posted at 11:59 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 23:59:21-05

Head coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Retirement can wait for Bruce Arians.

Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced the hiring of Arians, the former Virginia Tech quarterback, as the 12th head coach in franchise history. He and the team agreed to a four-year contract through 2022 with a fifth-year option in 2023.

Arians retired from coaching after the 2017 NFL season following his five-year tenure as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17). Arians led the Cardinals to an 11-and-5 record in 2014 and was named 2014’s Associated Press Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.

Head coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Prior to his run in the Valley of the Sun, Arians served as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts (2012), and also interim head coach that season when head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. He guided the Colts to a 9-and-3 record during his tenure, which lasted from October 1 until December 24, and was named Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year for the season. He served as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004-11), and offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns (2001-03). In his first of what would be two stints with the Colts, Arians spent 1998-2000 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. His first job in the NFL was with the Kansas City Chiefs as the running backs coach (1989-92).

Over the course of his NFL career, Arians coached some of the best quarterbacks in the game including Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.

Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Arians began his coaching career in 1975 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. As a collegiate quarterback at Tech (1972-74), Arians was voted the team’s MVP his senior year setting the school record for most quarterback rushing touchdowns in a season with 11, two more than Michael Vick.

The Buccaneers, who fired head coach Dirk Koetter following a 5-and-11 season, are currently in the midst of an 11-year postseason drought.