Super Bowl winner Bruce Arians steps down as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach

Tom Brady pays tribute to retiring Bruce Arians as Todd Bowles takes head coaching job at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Just when you think the 2022 NFL offseason couldn't provide any more shocks, then Super Bowl winning coach Bruce Arians decides to step down as Tom Brady's head coach and hand the reins to Todd Bowles.

69-year-old Arians became the oldest head coach to win the Super Bowl when he guided Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in their own stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs in February 2020.

The Bucs made it to the playoffs last season but were knocked out by the eventual champions, the Los Angeles Rams, before Brady then made the decision to retire from the NFL.

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady then reversed his decision after only six weeks in retirement, but as he returns for his 23rd NFL season it will be under a different head coach.

Retirement has been a big theme with the Bucs this offseason, and Arians revealed in his statement that Brady's decision to come back prompted his own retirement - as he wanted his defensive coordinator Bowles to have the best chance possible to succeed.

Bruce Arians handing over to Todd Bowles

Bruce Arians with Tom Brady at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians with Tom Brady at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

"I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed," said Arians, who will move into a front office role as senior football consultant.

"So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn't want that for Todd.

"Tom's decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd."

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Arians compiled a 31-18 record in Tampa Bay and a 5-1 playoff record, and the long-time assistant says that winning the Super Bowl as a head coach saw him achieve his dream.

"The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey," Arians added.

"Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list.

"For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record."

Bowles gets second chance as head coach

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles

58-year-old Bowles was in charge of one of the best defensive units in the league, with the defence a huge part of their dominant Super Bowl victory over Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs.

Bowles will now get a prime head coaching role with Brady back under centre and a team still full of star power and one of the big NFC favourites.

It's a second shot at head coach for Bowles, who had a 24-40 record during a four-year stint in charge of the New York Jets, but he takes over a team light years ahead in terms of talent.

"I am appreciative of the Glazer family and Jason Licht for having faith in me to take on this role," said Bowles.

"And to coach Arians for his support and guidance over the past four decades."

Bucs lead the way with diverse coaching staff

Bowles added: "Tampa has become home for my family, and we are excited to remain part of this community for years to come.

"I am eager to get started with our players, coaching staff, and front office in preparation for the 2022 season."

Bowles becomes the sixth black or minority head coach in the NFL, with Arians having put together one of the most diverse coaching set-ups in the league.

All of Arians' top assistant coaches are black, and the team made history when Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar became the first female coaches to win a Super Bowl as they were part of the Bucs staff against the Chiefs.

Plenty of Buccaneers players, including Brady, were quick to take to social media to not only thank Arians but also welcome Bowles to his new role.

Tom Brady leads tributes to Bruce Arians

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