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Former Steelers OC Bruce Arians to Retire, Todd Bowles to Take over Buccaneers Coach

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Bruce Arians

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will retire from coaching after three years as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Arians, 69, won Super Bowl LV with the Bucs after the 2020 season, but the relationship between him and star quarterback Tom Brady reportedly deteriorated throughout the 2021 season. 

Brady announced his retirement from the NFL, only to change his mind and announce a comeback. Shortly after that, trade rumors surfaced.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been tapped as Arians’ replacement, according to King. Bowles, 58, worked under Arians in his former head coaching role with the Arizona Cardinals and was head coach of then New York Jets from 2015-18. Bowles will become the sixth minority head coach in the NFL, three of which were hired this offseason.

Arians will move into a front office role with the team, he said in a statement. He said that he had been considering retiring soon and wanted to set up Bowles for success after his departure.

“Succession has always been huge for me,” Arians told Peter King of NBC Sports.. “With the organization in probably the best shape it’s been in its history, with Tom Brady coming back … I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [crappy] job.”

A York, Pa. native, Arians has been coaching since 1975, when he started as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. He turned a head coaching job at Temple into his first NFL break as running backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989.

The Steelers hired Arians as wide receivers coach in 2004 and he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, along with the hiring of Mike Tomlin as head coach. Arians was part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Steelers.

His departure from the the team in 2011 was categorized by the Steelers as a retirement at that juncture, but Arians quickly returned to coaching as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator in 2012. He also served as Colts’ interim head coach that season, and then took over the Cardinals in 2013.

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