Bruce Arians is moving out. Todd Bowles is moving up.
The Buccaneers officially have announced the sudden and abrupt late-March coaching change. It’s the first time a move has happened this late since Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys on March 29, 1994.
The Buccaneers will conduct a press conference regarding the transition on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. ET.
“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,” owner Joel Glazer said in a press release. “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 will move to a front-office role with the Buccaneers. Bowles will take over the team.
“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.” Bowles said. “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.”
Arians has won the coach of the year award twice since initially retiring (with a nudge) in Pittsburgh after the 2011 season. In 2012, as offensive coordinator of the Colts, Arians became the interim coach of the team during the cancer battle of Chuck Pagano. Then with the Cardinals, Arians won the award as the head coach.
The press release from the Buccaneers does not address the elephant in the room — the possible connection between the return of Tom Brady and the resignation of Bruce Arians. Undoubtedly, that topic will come up once or twice during Thursday’s press conference.