The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced several new coaching hires today that will be working under Lovie Smith. They are:
Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo
Arroyo, 33, spent this past season as the offensive coordinator/outside receivers coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, but previously worked with new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford at Cal for two seasons, first as quarterbacks coach (2011) and then as the passing game coordinator (2012). Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Wyoming. His coaching career began in 2003 at his alma mater, San Jose State, where he still holds multiple records as a quarterback, and worked his way up from graduate assistant to offensive coordinator/QBs coach.
Defensive line coach Joe Cullen
Cullen spent the 2013 season as the defensive line coach in Cleveland, where his Browns gave up the ninth fewest yards per game during the 2012 regular season. Interestingly, that was when the Browns transitioned to a 3-4 system. Prior to that, he worked under Jack Del Rio, Mel Tucker and Mike Mularkey in Jacksonville, and from 2006-2008 he worked under Rod Marinelli, helping lead the Lions to a top-10 defensive ranking in both 2007 and 2008. You may remember him from a 2006 drunk driving arrest in which he pulled into a Wendy’s drive-through naked. He was slapped with a $20,000 fine by the league and suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team. He participated in an NFL-sponsored alcohol outpatient rehabilitation program from September 2006 to July 2007.
Wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker
Stoker spent the 2013 season coaching running backs at Florida International University under former Bucs quarterbacks coach, Ron Turner. Those two also worked together on Lovie Smith’s staff in Chicago, where Hayes-Stoker spent six seasons (2006-2012), working his way up from a football operations and offensive assistant to assistant wide receivers coach (2010-2012). He began his coaching career in 2005 as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, before taking a recruiting job at his alma mater, TCU, where he was a two-time captain, earned multiple selections to conference academic teams and academic All-American honors.
Head strength and conditioning coach Dave Kennedy
Kennedy comes to Tampa after six seasons with Texas A&M, where he worked under Kevin Sumlin, where he helped Sumlin’s 2012 Aggies finish 11-4, the program’s best record in 14 years. Prior to serving on Sumlin, Mike Sherman and Dennis Franchione’s staffs, Kennedy spent four seasons at Nebraska (2004-2007) and 13 at Ohio State (1989-2001), where he saw 17 of his Buckeyes become first-round draft picks, including Nate Clements, David Boston, Antoine Winfield, Orlando Pace, Shawn Springs, Terry Glenn, Eddie George, Joey Galloway and Robert Smith. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he received a bachelors in strength coaching.
Senior defensive assistant Larry Marmie
Marmie most recently worked as the defensive backs coach for the UFL champion Las Vegas Locomotives, and prior to that, served in the same capacity on Mike Holmgren’s staff in Seattle from 2006-2008. From 2004-2005, he was defensive coordinator under Mike Martz in St. Louis and from 1996-2003 he coached the Arizona Cardinals, starting out working with the DBs and working his way up to defensive coordinator in 2000. Marmie’s ties to Lovie Smith go back to their days together at Arizona State, where Marmie was the head coach from 1988 to 1991 and Smith served as his linebackers coach.
Linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson
Nickerson is no stranger to the Buccaneers, having spent seven of his 16 NFL seasons as the team’s star middle linebacker (1993-1999) under Sam Wyche and Tony Dungy. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times, was a four-time All-Pro selection and was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade team. Nickerson developed a close relationship with Lovie Smith, who brought him on to coach the linebackers in Chicago in 2007, in which he helped Lance Briggs reach the Pro Bowl. Nickerson resigned from that role in 2008 due to health issues within his family, but got back into coaching at the high school level.
Special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea
O’Dea enters his 20th season in the NFL and second with Tampa Bay, having worked alongside Lovie Smith on Tony Dungy’s staff from 1996-2001 and again with Smith in Chicago from 2006-2007 and 2011-2012. This year, O’Dea worked on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City as an assistant special teams coach. O’Dea has also worked for the Jetys (2008-2009), Arizona Cardinals (2004-2005), Detroit Lions (2002-2003) and the San Diego Chargers (1994-1995). Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, O’Dea spent eight years as a collegiate coach. He is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Safeties coach Mikal Smith
Mikal Smith, the oldest son of Lovie Smith, spent the 2013 season as nickel backs coach of the Dallas Cowboys, helping transform Dallas’ old 3-4 defense into Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 defense alongside Rod Marinelli. Prior to working with the Cowboys, Smith served on his father’s staff for three seasons in Chicago — the first as defensive quality control from 2010-2011 before being promoted to defensive assistant/nickelback coach in 2012. Smith spent two seasons (2006-2007) as an assistant at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, where he served as the defensive backs coach and then also became special teams coordinator in 2007. You may remember a story from earlier this week in which his father talked about warding off wild monkeys with a machete . The machete was Mikal’s idea.
Running backs coach Tim Spencer
Spencer served as the running backs coach for the Bears for nine seasons (2004-12), helping Chicago’s running backs Matt Forte and Thomas Jones to 1,000-yard seasons on five different occasions, including two instances where the 2,000-yard barrier was broken twice (2005, 2011). Spencer played at Ohio State from 1979-1982, where he rushed for 3,553 yards and was named team MVP his senior year in 1982. He became the second-overall pick in the 1983 USFL draft, playing for the Chicago Blitz, Arizona Wranglers and Memphis Showboats, before joining the NFL San Diego Chargers as the team’s starting fullback. After his playing career ended following the 1990 season, Spencer returned to Ohio State to coach running backs from 1994-2003, helping Eddie George during his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 1995 and helping the Buckeyes to a national title in 2002.
Offensive quality control coach Ben Steele
A former tight end in the league from 2001-2007, Steele was most recently the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at UC-Davis, and prior to that was part of Jeff Tedford’s staff at Cal, working as an administrative assistant. He was an operations and recruiting assistant at Colorado in 2009 and graduate assistant in 2010. He also spent a year at his alma mater, Mesa State, as an offensive assistant in 2008. During his playing career there, he was named an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree.
Assistant offensive line coach Matt Wiegand
Like Steele, Wiegand spent the 2012 season at UC-Davis, where he served as offensive line coach. He also worked with Wiegand, Arroyo and Tedford at Cal in 2011-2012 as a grad assistant with tight ends, and prior to that was an offensive line coach at the University of Utah from 2009-2010. Wiegand was an offensive lineman at the University of La Verne, where he received All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in 2006.