Ask The Scouts

May 20th, 2020

Great nugget of Bucs history here.

So how did Father Dungy hire such an amazing coaching staff when he landed as head coach of the Buccaneers in 1996? Dungy’s coaching tree is downright stunning.

Well, as the NFL grapples with figuring out how to ensure coaching staffs leaguewide include more people of color, Dungy shared hiring his 1996 philosophy on CBS Sports Radio late Monday. Simply stated: Dungy knew what he wanted and relied on the guys who mingled and observed hundreds of college coaches to help him.

“When I came to Tampa as a head coach, I went to our scouting department. And I said, ‘Look, this is what I’m looking for. I’m looking for young coaches who can communicate, young coaches who have coached a number of different people, they’re positive, they’re encouragers. I had my list out,” Dungy said.

“And I went to those [scouts], and they gave me Rod Marinelli, Mike Tomlin and Lovie Smith, guys I didn’t know. But I knew what I was looking for.”

Father Dungy was just 40 years old when he got the Bucs gig, compared to Bucco Bruce Arians cashing his first Team Glazer check at 66 years old.

Arians had all sorts of former colleagues he wanted to hire to complete fill out his massive Bucs coaching staff, rather than looking for hot young talent in the college ranks.

Two different approaches. Joe hopes they get similar results.

16 Responses to “Ask The Scouts”

  1. permanent_moderation_doghouse Says:

    Mike Tomlin wasn’t on Dungy’s first staff. Herm Edwards was the DBs coach. So, there’s a little memory fart from Fr. Dungy.
    C’mon, that doesn’t mean Tomlin wasn’t targeted in 1996 but it took time to get him. –Joe

  2. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    coaching staff is still better then anything we have had since then. Granted he hires people he worked with before (to be fair that is literally 90% of NFL coaches father dungy is the exception) But still This team has in many way made strides.

    I think it will yield similar results.

  3. Bojim Says:

    He made other teams fear the Bucs defense.

  4. gp Says:

    No mention of Shula, Edwards, or Kiffen?

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    2002 Champs! 2020 Champs!

    Its a new day in Tampa Bay!

  6. D1 Says:

    “None of them were young.”

    Marinelli and Smith are older than Shula.
    Marinelli was in his 50’s!
    Marinelli was not 50 but you are correct and Joe was thinking of one thing but typing another. –Joe

  7. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Dungy did it the right way – to BUILD a defense for the Bucs and change the culture. KUDOS!

    YET – Never got a Bucs team w 7 Pro_Bowlers to SB….

    Love Dungy as human being: but as coach, needed Manning as QB to win the SB as HC. Just a fact.

  8. IndianaBuc Says:

    Trust when I say Manning needed Dungys defense just to win a SB. Facts show that in Denver as well. It’s not all about the QB you have in place,its the team that buys in. I love Manning but he wouldn’t have won without a dominant defense.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    We’ve had mediocre coaches since the days of Gruden. I think we have all the right pieces, to include coaches to win the Superbowl. Obviously injuries and player development will be a big factor on how far in the post season we can go.

  10. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Floyd Peters ?

  11. Hodad Says:

    Dungy was a first time HC who was brought in to build something. Arains is a last time HC who was brought in like Gruden to win right away. B.A. had his old staff available to hit the ground running so it made no sense to hire first time NFL coaches. To BA’s credit, his staff might have more black coaches then Dungy’s. Both OC, and DC are black. Lefty is a young up, and comer, and Arains has even given two woman coaching opportunities. So even tho the approach is different between the two coaches, there’s also some of the same approach.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    You aspire to again not win a super bowl or even an NFC championship? Hell no. Expect Gruden results. Win divisions and a super bowl.

  13. Buc believer Says:

    What gives Joe? Are you THAT sensitive now that I dont make the lineup because I even mention that you sensor me because you and Ira hated to be criticized? Sheesh! Lighten up. Guess I need to do what others have done and go under an assumed name.

  14. SirClicksAlot Says:

    I think we have a proven, excellent coaching staff right now and it’s been a very welcome change. I don’t think it’s fair to compare to the Dungy staff though. I think that staff turned out to be one of the greatest defensive staffs in history, top to bottom. Definitely rivals the Packer’s offensive staff from the 90’s under Holmgren and Buddy Carson’s tree for quality of assistants.

  15. rrsrq Says:

    I think both Dungy and BA looked at coaches who can develop players year after year and say, this is how we do it. Gruden, didn’t mind changing players year in and year out, the hell with developing incoming players, but I do think with Mike Mayock, Raiders are doing more developing than Gruden did with the Bucs. Also, Dungy, like BA, wanted to develop coaches, at least defensively. It was likely, Manning that developed Clyde Christensen, Dungy will tell you, he always wanted Tom Moore as his OC

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “but as coach, needed Manning as QB to win the SB as HC. Just a fact.”

    True dat. A fact indeed. Another fact…Bill Belicheat never reached a Super Bowl without starting the season with Tom Brady as his QB. ONE year Brady got injured and so Matt Cassell played most of the season…but oh btw did the Pats make the SB that year? No they did not. In fact Belichek never reached the playoffs that year. BB reached the playoffs exactly ONE year without Brady when he was with Cleveland.

    Bill Belicheat like Dungy is regarded primarily as a defensive coach. Yet in his last two SB’s he was clearly outcoached until Kyle Shanahan went brain dead conservative and gave up a 28-3 third Q lead. But then BB had OUR current QB for the greatest comeback in SB history.

    So if TB12 wins 10 makes the playoffs and BB has a losing record? Will the debate grow even more intense on who was more important in the Pats dynasty?