Buccaneers stay in-house and name Koetter head coach


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed Dirk Koetter has been promoted from offensive co-ordinator to head coach.

Koetter replaces Lovie Smith, who was surprisingly fired after the end of the regular season, which the Buccaneers finished 6-10.

Soon after Smith's firing, reports indicated Koetter was the front-runner for the job, and he now becomes Tampa Bay's third head coach since 2012.

"We are excited to announce that Dirk Koetter will lead the Buccaneers as our new head coach," said co-chairman Joel Glazer in a statement.

"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 organisation, makes Dirk the right man to lead our team moving forward."

General manager Jason Licht added: "When I started this search for a new head coach, the focus was on finding someone that could be a strong leader as well as a consummate teacher, and Dirk is both.

"He brings the passion and drive that will re-energize our organisation and help us establish the winning culture that will help us become the championship-caliber team that our fans deserve."

Under Koetter's offense, last year's first overall pick Jameis Winston set franchise rookie records at quarterback.

He ended finished with 4,042 passing yards, which was just 23 yards shy of the Buccaneers' all-time single-season record set by Josh Freeman.

Winston also became just the third rookie quarterback to pass over 4,000 yards in a season.

Koetter is the 11th coach in franchise history and will be formally introduced during a news conference at 14:00 (local time) on Friday.