Dr. Joe Diaco has been with the Buccaneers since their inaugural season and has served as chief physician since 1978
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday that team physician Dr. Joe Diaco will retire this week after 33 seasons with the club. Dr. John Zvijac, who has served as head team orthopedic surgeon since 1998, will continue to assume the role of orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Chet Janecki and Dr. Dan Lamar will serve as team associate orthopedic surgeons.
"This is a very difficult decision for me because I love the Buccaneers and I love working for the Glazers," said Diaco. "The Glazer family has been nothing but kind and generous to me and my family. I leave with a heavy heart but this will allow me to work with my son in his practice and more importantly, spend more time with my children and my grandchildren."
Diaco, who began with Tampa Bay in the inaugural season in 1976, has served as chief team physician since 1978. Diaco was a part of six division titles during his time with the Buccaneers, including three of the past seven NFC South division championships. Diaco was on hand for the first Super Bowl title in team history with a 48-21 victory against Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII.
"Dr. Diaco has been an important fixture in this organization since its inception, and he will be missed," said Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik. "We are truly indebted to him for his tireless dedication over the last 33 years, and wish him all the best in retirement."
Diaco practiced general and laparoscopic surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he was chief of surgery for 10 years and also served as chief of staff. Besides his aforementioned duties, Diaco is also an associate clinical professor at the University of South Florida and at one time served as the president of the Tampa Surgical Society.
A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Diaco was named Community Leader of the Year by the Arthritis Foundation in 2003. Diaco earned his bachelor's degree from Villanova and also graduated from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in his native Philadelphia. His twin brother, Nick, is a heart specialist in Los Angeles. Diaco has three sons: Daniel, Stephen and Joseph. Daniel served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital. Stephen and Joseph are both Tampa attorneys.