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Dirk Koetter is the Bucs’ first coordinator-turned-head coach since the eighties

They’ve had many assistants leave to become head coaches, though.

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Here’s a weird tidbit dug up by Chase Stuart of the always awesome Football Perspective: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t had a coordinator leave and turn into a head coach since the eighties—unless we count Dirk Koetter last year.

The Detroit Lions are the only other team not to have a coordinator turn head coach since 2006—and they had that happen in 2004 and 2005, not in the eighties.

Stuart finds that only Wayne Fontes and Joe Gibbs went on to become head coaches. Both of them coached under John McKay, Fontes in the eighties and Gibbs in 1978. Fontes is mostly known for leading the Barry Sanders-era Detroit Lions, while Gibbs is now in the Hall of Fame for winning three Super Bowls with Washington.

The Bucs lack of other coordinators-turned-head coaches is mostly a result of two things: the Bucs hiring terrible offensive coordinators every year under Tony Dungy, and the Bucs having Monte Kiffin as their sole defensive coordinator between 1996 and 2008.

The Bucs were, of course, godawful between John McKay leaving in 1983 and Tony Dungy arriving in 1995. It’s no surprise that that series of events led to no head coaches. But Dungy and later Jon Gruden had a lot of success—the kind of success that leads to other teams hiring your coaches.

Which is exactly what happend: other teams had to snipe assistants to Monte Kiffin instead. Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin, Rod Marinelli, Herman Edwards and of course Raheem Morris all got head coaching jobs that way. All because Kiffin kept that coordinator seat occupied so long without ever wanting to leave.

So hey, that’s interesting. The Bucs had very, very few coordinators turn into head coaches. Weird.