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Bucs hope Dirk Koetter can lead a franchise turnaround

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Now that the Tampa Bay Bucs have their football coach established, it’s time for the rest of the organization to step up, too.

The Bucs announced Friday morning that Dirk Koetter is their new football coach, replacing the fired Lovie Smith. Koetter is the team’s fifth coach in eight seasons.

For Koetter to succeed, however, it will talk effort from a lot of people outside his office, too. Who are going to be his coordinators? Can he draft a defensive end? Can he sign cornerbacks? Can the Glazers grow into the leaders of an organization the way, say, Dan Rooney of Pittsburgh and Robert Kraft of New England has done?

For now, the job is Koetter’s, who has never been a head coach in the NFL.

Still, ownership seems happy.

”Dirk has established himself as one of the top offensive coaches in our game while enjoying success at every stop during his college and NFL career,” said Joel Glazer. “His success with our offense last season, along with his familiarity with our players and our organization, makes Dirk the right man to lead our team moving forward.”

Koetter improved the Bucs’ offense greatly this year, taking it from 30th in the league to fifth.

“When I started this search for a new head coach, the focus was on finding someone that could be a strong leader as well as a consummate teacher, and Dirk is both,” said General Manager Jason Licht. “He brings the passion and drive that will re-energize our organization and help us establish the winning culture that will help us become the championship-caliber team that our fans deserve.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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