Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will be the franchise’s newest head coach, the team announced Friday.
He will replace Lovie Smith who was fired by the Buccaneers in early January after just two seasons at the helm.
”Dirk has established himself as one of the top offensive coaches in our game while enjoying success at every stop during his college and NFL career,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer in a press release issued Friday morning. “His success with our offense last season, along with his familiarity with our players and our organization, makes Dirk the right man to lead our team moving forward.”
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Koetter fought back tears as he thanked the Bucs franchise as well as friends and family for their support. This will be Koetter’s first time in a head coaching position in the NFL.
“Competition in this league is the best of the best, every week,” Koetter said. “I’m fully aware of that and I am ready for the responsibility, ready for the challenge. It’s going to be a heck of a journey.”
Koetter said he will continue to make play calls for the Bucs as he did in his former offensive coordinator role.
“One of my favorite parts of football is the strategy and the game management part,” he said. “I think I’d be foolish to give that up.”
Koetter also confirmed rumors he is hiring Mike Smith as the Bucs new defensive coordinator. Smith is a former head coach for the Falcons and currently the Jaguars' defensive coordinator.