Advertisement

NFL head coaches: Buccaneers hire Dirk Koetter, Lions keep Jim Caldwell

NFL head coaches: Buccaneers hire Dirk Koetter, Lions keep Jim Caldwell
Dirk Koetter, left, replaces Lovie Smith. Koetter was Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator last season. He was Atlanta's offensive coordinator from 2012-2014. (Dirk Shadd / Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are turning their rebuilding project over to Dirk Koetter.

The longtime NFL offensive coordinator became the team's fifth coach since 2008 on Friday, succeeding Lovie Smith, who was fired after going 8-24 over the past two seasons.

Koetter's selection wasn't a surprise. He helped No. 1 overall draft pick Jameis Winston become just the third rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards this season, and was identified by general manager Jason Licht as a "very strong candidate" when Smith was fired last week.



The Bucs went 6-10, missing the playoffs for the eighth straight year. But the offense set a franchise record for total offense, ranking fifth in the league.

It's Koetter's first NFL head coaching job. He was the head coach at Boise State for three years from 1998-2000, and for six seasons at Arizona State from 2001-06.

Advertisement
Detroit Coach Jim Caldwell talks after a game against Chicago on Jan. 3.
Detroit Coach Jim Caldwell talks after a game against Chicago on Jan. 3. (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions have decided to keep Coach Jim Caldwell for a third season.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn announced the move Friday.

It was Quinn's call to keep or fire Caldwell during his first week on the job.

Quinn says it is clear he and Caldwell have similar football philosophies, adding the team believes in Caldwell and responds well to his leadership.

Caldwell is 18-15, including a wild-card loss last year, in two seasons with the Lions. Detroit dropped six of its first seven games in 2015 before finishing 7-9.

The Lions gave Caldwell a chance to lead an NFL team for a second time. He was 26-22 over three regular seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, helping them reach a Super Bowl.

Advertisement
Advertisement