Bucs officially name Koetter as new head coach

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:26pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers formally announced the hiring of Dirk Koetter as head coach on Friday, rewarding the offensive coordinator for the job he did in bringing along rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.

Koetter, 56, became the Bucs' fifth coach since 2008 in succeeding Lovie Smith, who was fired after going 8-24 over the past two seasons.

The veteran coordinator helped 2015 number one overall draft pick Winston become just the third NFL rookie to throw for 4,000 yards this season.

"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," Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement.

"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."In his first season with the Buccaneers, Koetter's offense set franchise records for total net yards (6,014) and yards per play (5.9) and found success both on the ground and through the air.

Overall, the Bucs finished fifth in the NFL in total offense, their highest spot on that list in 40 seasons of play.

Koetter brings more than three decades of coaching experience to his first NFL head coaching job with previous stops in Atlanta and Jacksonville.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating)

 
File image of Dirk Koetter in 2005 when he was Arizona State University head coach REUTERS/Ross D. Franklin