The entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization was saddened by the passing of former team physician Joseph Diaco at the age of 83 on Monday.
"Joe was an outstanding physician who served the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization honorably for more than three decades," read a statement from the Glazer family. "Over the years, he grew very close to our family and became a trusted and valued friend. During his time as our primary team physician, Joe was an invaluable resource for our players and organization, but he became so much more to those of us who had the privilege of experiencing his friendship. He was compassionate, caring and dedicated to helping others. A devoted family man, Joe also deeply loved this community that he served so passionately for the majority of his life. We offer our deepest sympathies to the entire Diaco family during this very difficult time."
Diaco served as the Buccaneers' head doctor for 33 years, beginning in the team's inaugural season of 1976. His affiliation with the Buccaneers made him one of the longest running team physicians in the NFL. Prior to and during his time with the team, he was a renowned and innovative surgeon, first in his hometown of Philadelphia and later in Tampa. He also served as a surgeon in the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Diaco retired from his post as team physician in 2008 but remained a treasured member of the Buccaneers family, to the point he was awarded a championship ring after Tampa Bay's victory in Super Bowl LV in February of 2021.
The Diaco family has announced that services for Dr. Diaco will take place on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at Sacred Heart in downtown Tampa. The services are open to the public, with a viewing from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. followed by a prayer service from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.