November 30, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians on health scare that “woke me up,” stepping back from coaching

Bruce Arians is used to being the coach — giving direction, executing plays and being a leader on and off the field for NFL players and his coaching staff. But in 2017, the then 64-year-old coach discovered he needed a coach as well. 

“You never want to wake your wife up at three in the morning, tap her on the shoulder, ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘We need to go to the hospital,'” Arians recalled for the first time publicly to “CBS Mornings.” “It woke me up and I found out then, that I had to get a coach for my health.” 

Arians said that bad cholesterol and his highly stressful position as head coach contributed to his health scare. 

It was not long after that Arians got a team of health professionals and became a healthier version of himself — losing 40 pounds, getting on medication, and incorporating exercise and healthy foods into his lifestyle.  

Arians is entering a new phase in his life this year, stepping away from being the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and into the front office staff. His NFL career spans more than three decades and several teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Cardinals. 

In 2019, Arians became head coach for the Buccaneers, and in 2020 he led them to victory in Super Bowl LV in their home stadium. A year later, the team made it to the Wild Card round of the playoffs.  

But as this upcoming season approached, Arians felt like it was time for him to take a step back and give someone else an opportunity. 

Former New Jersey Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who once served under Arians, is taking the helm at Tampa Bay — becoming one the few Black head coaches in NFL history. 

“It was not a hard decision for me. I knew it was time. You know, it’s time in life for certain things, and for me, it was a transition. I wanted to have succession. It was very important for me that one of my guys took over,” Arians said. 

Arians said he has always wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for everyone on his team and staff, no matter their race, gender or age. 

“I want to make sure when qualified people get an opportunity and open the doors for them… The door had to be opened,” he said.  

Arians is also known as a “quarterback whisper” and played a hand in Tom Brady’s decision to play for the Buccaneers. Arians said the secret to getting the best out of all his players is trust. 

“You have to have the trust of the people you’re working with. And a quarterback for me has to be like one of my sons. We have to have a dialogue, that there is no B.S.,” he said.  

Source: Rocky Mountain News