Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers concluded a storybook season Sunday with a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs to claim Tampa Bay’s second Super Bowl title. The Buccaneers became the first team in NFL history to register a Super Bowl win on their home field, Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.
Arians’ staff includes fellow Tech alums Cody Grimm (defensive/special teams assistant) and Nick Rapone (safeties). After suffering a 27-24 home loss to the Chiefs on November 29, the Buccaneers never lost again. Tampa Bay won its final four regular season games and then registered postseason victories at Washington, at New Orleans and at Green Bay before Sunday’s convincing win over the Chiefs.
The Bucs’ previous Super Bowl win was a defeat of the Oakland Raiders after the 2002 season in Super Bowl XXXVII. The victory Sunday marked the seventh Super Bowl win for quarterback Tom Brady, his first in a Buccaneers uniform.
Arians, who lettered as a quarterback for Tech from 1972-74, is no stranger to professional football’s biggest game. He previously earned a ring as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. Interestingly, that 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals took place at Raymond James Stadium. At 68 years, three months and 21 days, he became the second-oldest Super Bowl head coach in NFL history, trailing only Buffalo’s Marv Levy (68 years, five months, 28 days). Arians is the oldest coach to ever lead his team to a Super Bowl title.
Rapone played collegiately at Tech from 1974-78 before embarking on a coaching career. He previously coached with Arians at Temple and with the Arizona Cardinals. The New Castle, Penn., native spent over 30 years in the collegiate ranks before joining the Cardinals in 2012. He enjoyed stints at Delaware, Pitt, East Tennessee State and Connecticut, in addition to his time at Temple.
Grimm joined the Buccaneers coaching staff after serving in various capacities on the Tech coaching staff for four seasons. He lettered four years (2006-09) as a linebacker for the Hokies after originally joining the team as a walk-on. As a senior, he led the nation with seven forced fumbles and amassed 106 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, earning first-team All-ACC and third-team AP All-America honors. He was selected by the Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft as a safety.