Despite report, Arians says he has no plans to retire
- A CBS Sports report says Bruce Arians may weigh retirement at the end of the season.
- The York High graduate denied the report and says he's coaching next season.
- Arians has been the Arizona Cardinals' head coach since the 2013 season.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has no plans to retire anytime soon.
The 64-year-old York High graduate made that abundantly clear on Monday when he strongly denied a CBS Sports report that "confidants" believed he would contemplate retirement in the offseason.
"First of all, I don't have that many friends," Arians joked on his appearance with "Bickley & Marotta" on Arizona sports radio.
Then Arians turned more serious.
"Couldn't be anything further from the truth," Arians said about the report. "I'm looking forward to finishing this year and damn sure coaching next year."
According to the CBS Sports report by well-known NFL writer Jason La Canfora: "Arians' health has been a concern in the past and he has talked of fearing for his life at times in past years due to health complications."
Arians is a cancer survivor and was hospitalized Nov. 21, but released shortly thereafter. The exact nature of his November health issue was not disclosed and he did not miss any games. He was also hospitalized in August.
Because of those health scares, La Canfora said: "Many coaches who know Arians, 64, well believe he will reconsider his career path after the season and assert that some in the coach's family will urge him to retire."
For most of his career, Arians was a journeyman assistant coach in the college and pro ranks. He did have a six-year head coaching tenure at Temple in the 1980s, when he compiled a 27-39 overall mark.
He got his big NFL break in 2012, when he took over the Indianapolis Colts on an interim basis for Chuck Pagano, who was suffering from leukemia. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record and an unexpected AFC playoff berth.
Arians' performance with the Colts caught the attention of Cards GM Steve Keim, who also happens to hail from York County. Keim is a Red Land High School graduate.
Keim hired Arians to take over the long-suffering Cardinals franchise in 2013 and he's thrived since his arrival in the desert, compiling records of 10-6, 11-5 and 13-3 in his three seasons, leading Arizona to the playoffs in 2014 and the NFC title game a season ago.
This season, however, has been much more difficult. Despite some preseason predictions that put the Cards in the Super Bowl, Arizona has stumbled to a 5-6-1 record and another playoff appearance looks unlikely.
Just a week ago, Arians complained about his team's "selfishness" and lack of physical play.
Still, Arians' contract runs through 2018, and if his comments on the radio show are to be believed, he won't be leaving the Cards anytime soon.