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Buccaneers officially announce Dirk Koetter as head coach

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially announced Dirk Koetter as their head coach. Reports came out on Wednesday night that the head coach was lining up assistants in case he was hired, and last night Adam Schefter, Rick Stroud and others reported that the Bucs were finalizing a deal to make Koetter the head coach.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Koetter signed a five-year deal.

"We are excited to announce that Dirk Koetter will lead the Buccaneers as our new head coach," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer. "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. 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."

Koetter replaces Lovie Smith, who hired him last year. Koetter impressed in his first season, producing arguably the best offense in Bucs history and helping Jameis Winston navigate a successful rookie season. That fits the new head coach's history, as he was previously highly successful running the Jacksonville Jaguars' and Atlanta Falcons' offenses. The continuity on the coaching staff will help the Bucs maintain the improvements they saw on offense -- or at least they hope it will.

Koetter's main job now will be to help overhaul the Bucs defense, though. Job one: hire a defensive coordinator. Former Falcons head coach Mike Smith has been repeatedly mentioned as a prominent candidate, while Mike Nolan and Mel Tucker have a history with Koetter and Jim Schwartz is a fan-favorite.

The Bucs will hold an introductory press conference today at 2:00 p.m. ET.