A look at the long football odyssey of York High grad Bruce Arians

Tampa Bay Times (TNS)
  • York High graduate Bruce Arians is the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Arians previously was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 through 2017.
  • Arians did not coach last season, but was a color commentator for CBS Sports.

TAMPA — York High graduate Bruce Arians continues to show that retirement holds a much different meaning to him than most people.

York High graduate Bruce Arians, shown here during his head coaching days with the Arizona Cardinals, has experienced a lot of stops along the way during his football coaching odyssey. AP FILE PHOTO

It's not an ending. Not at all. If anything, it's a respite. Or a pause. Sometimes that pause lasts for a full season, other times it lasts for only eight days.

Arians has retired twice from coaching in the NFL. Once again, he couldn't stay away for long.

Here's Arians' football career timeline leading up to him accepting the Buccaneers' coaching job, in reverse order:

CBS Sports color commentator (2018): Arians has spent this past season as a game analyst, working alongside Greg Gumbel and Trent Green.

Arizona Cardinals head coach (2013-17): Arians led the Cardinals to a 49-30-1 record over five seasons including two playoff appearances. In 2015, Arizona reached the NFC championship game with the NFL's top offense in yards per game. Arians also won AP NFL Coach of the Year the season before. The Cardinals turned in three consecutive winning seasons to start Arians' tenure, but they finished 7-8-1 and 8-8 in his last two seasons. Arians retired from coaching on Jan. 1, 2018.

Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach (2012): Arians joined the Colts as their offensive coordinator eight days after he retired from coaching. He coached the final 12 games of the season as interim head coach after then-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano received a leukemia diagnosis and stepped away from his head coaching duties. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record, en route to winning his first coach of the year award. He accomplished this with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach (2004-2011): Arians won two Super Bowls during his time with the Steelers, spending the first three seasons as Pittsburgh's wide receivers coach. The Steelers were much more a defensive team during those Super Bowl years, though. Arians' offense never finished in the top five for yards in total offense or passing. Only once did they finish third in rushing yards while the defense finished in the top five every season. Arians did, however, help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reach the Pro Bowl twice. In 2011 when Arians' contract ended, the Steelers announced that he had retired from coaching. But that retirement lasted only eight days until he joined the Colts. Arians later told Andrea Kremer of HBO's Real Sports in 2016 that he viewed the move as a firing. "(Tomlin) said, 'I can't get you the money,'" Arians told Kremer. "I said, 'Okay.' He said, 'No, I can't get you a contract.' I said, 'Are you firing me?' He said, 'No.' Well, it's just a matter of words, Mike, okay. If I don't have a contract, I'm fired.'" Arians added that he viewed himself as retired until Pagano called.

Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator (2001-2003): The Browns finished last in the league offensively in 2001 and never snuck out of the bottom 10 during Arians' tenure in Cleveland.

Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach (1998-2000): Arians worked with Peyton Manning during his rookie season, during which Manning earned a spot on the NFL All-Rookie team as he set five rookie records. Manning reached the Pro Bowl during the next two seasons and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2000.

Alabama offensive coordinator (1997): The Crimson Tide finished 4-7 this season under coach Mike DuBose.

New Orleans Saints tight ends coach (1996): The Saints had a 3-13 season under Jim Mora, under whom Arians also coached in Indianapolis.

Mississippi State offensive coordinator (1993-1995): The Bulldogs finished 15-17-2 during Arians' tenure leading the offense.

Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach (1989-1992): Arians met Bill Cowher during his time in Kansas City, which later led to the job in Pittsburgh.

Temple head coach (1983-1988): Arians led Temple to a 27-39 record, but Temple had to later forfeit six wins from the 1986 season after the NCAA learned that running back Paul Palmer had signed with an agent before his senior year. Palmer finished second in the 1986 Heisman Trophy voting.

Alabama running backs coach (1981-1982): Arians coached under Paul "Bear" Bryant during Arians' first stint at Alabama.

Mississippi State wide receivers and running backs coach (1978-1980): The Bulldogs finished 18-16 during Arians' first time as a college positions coach.

Virginia Tech graduate assistant (1975-1977): Arians' time at Virginia Tech ended when the entire coaching staff was dismissed after a player died of heatstroke from a punishment drill.

Virginia Tech quarterback: Arians started three consecutive seasons for Virginia Tech from 1972-74, completing 78 of 174 pass attempts for 1270 yards and six touchdowns. Arians did the most damage with his legs, running for 243 yards and 11 touchdowns, what was then a school record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season. Not even Michael Vick ran for that many — Vick peaked at nine. Arians also roomed with James Barber, father of former Buccanneers defensive back Ronde Barber.