REPORT: Bucs fire Dirk Koetter
Head coach Dirk Koetter is out in Tampa Bay, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Post-season firings are underway: Buccaneers relieves HC Dirk Koetter of his duties, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer reported that Koetter would be fired be fired earlier today, and the Buccaneers’ ownership wasted no time after losing to the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the day.
Koetter was hired by the Buccaneers as their offensive coordinator in 2015, but after the firing of Lovie Smith, Koetter was hired as the head coach. Koetter was supposed to build an offense that second-year quarterback, Jameis Winston, could thrive in.
The 2016 season was the high point of their time together. The Bucs went 9-7 and just missed the playoffs, but they followed it up with disappointing seasons in 2017 and 2018, in which they went 5-11 twice.
This season, the Bucs started out hot with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Winston was suspended for the first three games of this season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy — Winston allegedly groped a female Uber driver in 2016. Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 2-1 record over that span, winning big games against their division rival New Orleans and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
However, Fitzpatrick began to struggle, and Winston reclaimed the job in third quarter of their week four matchup against the Chicago Bears. Koetter benched Winston in Week 8, but gave him the job back for the rest of the season in Week 11.
Tampa Bay announced they were bringing back Winston as their 2019 quarterback earlier in the day, but had seen enough of the Winston-Koetter tandem. Koetter joined the collection of fired coaches that this year includes, Hue Jackson, Mike McCarthy and likely many more shortly.