5 Things You Need to Know About Bruce Arians

1. Bruce Arians was named AP Coach of the Year twice in three seasons. The first award came in 2012 after he took over as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis. Arians went 9-3, with the Colts finishing second in the AFC South during quarterback Andrew Luck’s rookie season and making the playoffs that year. It was the first time an interim coach had been given the award. Arians would earn it again three seasons later in 2015 as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, who went 13-3 in the regular season and made it to the NFC Championship.

2. Prior to Arians’ arrival in 2013, the Cardinals went 5-11 in 2012. After his first season as head coach, Arizona posted a 10-6 record in 2013, but missed the playoffs in a stacked NFC West that year. Arians followed up the campaign with an 11-5 season in 2014 and the Cardinals’ first playoff berth since 2009. He went 13-3 the next season with Arizona making it as far as the 2015 NFC Championship. His fourth and fifth seasons, the Cardinals went 7-8-1 and 8-8, giving Arians an overall record of 49-30-1 while in Arizona. As a head coach, including his time in Indianapolis, Arians has a .636 winning percentage.

3. Arians has worked with some of the most prolific quarterbacks in recent memory. He was Peyton Manning’s first quarterbacks coach when he came into the league with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Arians spent three seasons mentoring Manning before leaving in 2001 to become the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. His next big-name student was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when Arians was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011. He was the team’s wide receivers coach from 2004-2006 before being promoted. Following his time with the Steelers, Arians took the offensive coordinator job with the Indianapolis Colts to help tutor rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. A known-quarterback whisperer, Arians even got to know Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston during a football camp in Alabama when Winston was growing up. Winston actually credits Arians with giving him the goal of going to a Super Bowl, after Arians showed Winston his Super Bowl ring at the Birmingham-based camp.

4. Arians played quarterback in college for the Virginia Tech Hokies, where he was roommates with Ronde and Tiki Barber’s father, James. As a quarterback, he held the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a quarterback in school history (11) until it was broken by Jeron Evans in 2016. He had two more rushing touchdowns than former Hokie quarterback Michael Vick did in a season. Arians’ coaching career would begin immediately following his time as a player when he became a graduate assistant for his alma mater in 1975.

5. Arians was born in Paterson, New Jersey but graduated from William Penn High School in York, Pennsylvania. The area has produced former NFLers in defensive lineman Chris Doleman, linebacker Andre Powell, running back Woody Bennett, offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy and safety Omar Brown.

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