Joe Maddon, the former manager of the Tampa Bay Rays and current manager of the Chicago Cubs, helped convince Bruce Arians to accept a job to be the head coach of the Buccaneers.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Maddon and Arians met in Arizona four years ago when Arians was coach of the Cardinals and Maddon was in spring training with the Cubs at their spring complex in Mesa, Ariz. Buccaneers G.M. Jason Licht introduced the pair then and got them together again at Maddon’s restaurant in Tampa last week.
Maddon spent nine years as the manager of the Rays in Tampa before joining the Cubs in 2015.
The meeting helped Arians get comfortable with the idea of coaching in Tampa. After interviewing over the weekend, he signed a four-year deal to become the Buccaneers head coach on Tuesday.