Bucs add three to coaching staff

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced three additions to their 2022 coaching staff under head coach Bruce Arians. They are:

  • Outside Linebackers Coach Bob Sanders
  • Joey Fitzgerald, defensive quality control coach
  • Jeff Kastl, Offensive Quality Control Coach

Additionally, John Van Dam will take over as Tampa Bay’s tight ends coach heading into the 2022 season after serving as the team’s assistant tight ends coach in 2021. Rick Christophel, who served as Tampa Bay’s tight ends coach 2019 at 21, will step into a new role as a senior offensive assistant.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars hiring former Buccaneers Inside Linebackers coach Mike Caldwell to serve as defensive coordinator, Larry Foote takes over from Caldwell, creating the opening for Sanders to coach outside linebackers. Sanders previously served as linebacker coach on the Arians’ Arizona Cardinals staff from 2015 to 2017.

Fitzgerald replaces Tim Atkins, who was promoted to assistant secondary coach after Cody Grimm left to join Caldwell as the Jaguars’ safety coach.

Sanders was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of America Football, working with head coach Steve Spurrier. Sanders previously spent 11 years (1990-2000) on Spurrier’s staff at the University of Florida, much of it as an assistant defensive coordinator while working with a variety of defensive positions.

Overall, Sanders has more than 40 years of coaching experience, 17 of them in the NFL, culminating in his three seasons with the Arians in Arizona. He began his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins in 2001, serving four seasons as the team’s linebacker coach. He also had stints in Green Bay, Buffalo and Oakland before joining Arians, including three seasons (2006-08) as the Packers’ defensive coordinator.

Fitzgerald most recently coached quarterbacks for Northwestern State in 2021. He had additional college coaching stops in Eastern Kentucky, University of Virginia’s College in Wise, Southeast Louisiana and La Louisiana-Monroe. He also worked for two seasons on Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant and then joined Mullens at the University of Florida in 2018 to work as a recruiting specialist. He made his coaching debut at Florida Atlantic in 2012 as a graduate assistant working with linebackers and defensive backs.

Kastl joins the Buccaneers after spending the past two seasons as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Indiana State. A former Michigan Wolverines quarterback, he coached at the collegiate level for more than a decade, beginning with a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Central Michigan from 2007 to 2008. He made subsequent stops at Ashland, Auburn, Michigan, LSU and UTSA before joining the Indiana State staff in 2020. Kastl started as wide receivers coach at UTSA in 2016 but later added the game coordinator of passes to his functions before a promotion to the position of offensive coordinator in 2019.