With Lovie Smith fired I would expect Dirk Koetter to be named head coach within the week. They still will interview a few other candidates.— Mark Dominik (@MarkdominikESPN) January 7, 2016
Dirk Koetter did a good job turning one of the league's worst offenses into an average one, managing rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and building around running back Doug Martin, who had a resurgent year after two disappointing seasons. Koetter has a strong history as an NFL coordinator, having coached Matt Ryan and company to some outstanding years, and his players love him -- including tight end Brandon Myers.
Dirk has been the man since he walked in the door— Brandon Myers (@myersb83) January 7, 2016
The biggest upside to keeping Koetter around would be maintaining consistency for Jameis Winston, who's going into his second year as the Bucs' starting quarterback.
Koetter is far from a slam dunk, though. While he's been a very good NFL coordinator, his college coaching career was less successful. He went 26-10 with two Humanitarian Bowl wins at Boise State in the late 1990s, but was a lot less successful at Arizona State from 2001 through 2006, going 40-34 with two bowl wins before being fired.
It's also important to remember that being a good coordinator is a far cry from being a good head coach. The latter requires a lot of high-level management that the former does not, and not every good coordinator is cut out for that. Whether Koetter is remains to be seen.
The Bucs have rarely done the expected thing in their head coaching searches and they certainly like making a splash so it would be surprising if Dirk Koetter was the only candidate on the list.