In Bruce we trust: Tampa’s winningest coach

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Bucs fans everywhere rejoiced when the team acquired Bruce Arians as its new head coach. I’ve never seen optimism this high in my ten years as a fan. I’ve never felt this much optimism myself. However, there’s still a healthy amount of skepticism amongst the fanbase. I can’t say I blame them; we’ve all been burned before. But I’m here to tell you, Bucs fans, we’ve never seen a head coach like Bruce Arians.

The charisma. The style. The foul mouth. What’s not to love? But none of that compares to BA’s sexiest attribute: he’s a winner.

That’s right. We have never seen a winner like Bruce Arians. In 25 seasons in the league, as both head coach and coordinator with various teams, he’s seen his team go to the playoffs 15 times. BA’s teams earned a .576 win-loss ratio over those 25 seasons. As a head coach, he had a .619 win-loss ratio and his teams went to the playoffs three of six years.

Amongst current NFL head coaches, he’s got the third highest win-loss ratio, beaten only by Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin.

BA’s credited with a win-loss ratio of .691. This total only includes his win-loss from his five years at Arizona. The 12 games where he clocked a .75 win-loss as interim head coach at the Colts was credited to Chuck Pagano. When you add those games, his win-loss ratio goes up to .636.

Notice the coaches he beats: Sean Payton. Ron Rivera. John Harbaugh. Pete Carroll. Needless to say, I like our odds in the NFC South.

He stacks up even better compared to former Buccaneers coaches in the modern era (Tony Dungy forward). [Note: the coaches before Dungy aren’t even close so don’t think I’m manipulating the stats to prove my point.]

The only two head coaches that had prior coaching experience before coming to the Buccaneers were Jon Gruden and Lovie Smith. Their win-loss ratio before coming to the Bucs were .525 and .563, respectively. I’ll note that both men’s win-loss went down after being fired from Tampa, but both still have a positive win-loss in the NFL nonetheless.

Tony Dungy’s career win-loss is .668. He began his head coaching career in Tampa, earning a .563 win-loss ratio during his six years with the team. By the end of his career, his win-loss went all the way up to .668. (Seven years coaching Peyton Manning didn’t hurt – he earned a .759 win-loss during that time.)

The rest of the coaches post-Dungy didn’t even break .4 – a large reason they’re not still here – so I won’t put you (or myself) through a recap of those regimes.

A dose of skepticism may still be warranted – after all, Gruden and Lovie’s win-loss ratio did go down after coaching here. But there’s reason for optimism: We’ve never had a coach of this caliber in Tampa. If anyone can pull us out of this dip, it’s BA.

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