In 1974, Bruce Arians played quarterback for a wishbone offense at Virginia Tech. He completed 53 of 118 pass attempts (44.9%) for 952 yards, three touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
In ’75, Arians became a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech. He held that position until the end of the ’77 season.
From ’78-’80, Arians was the running backs and wide receivers assistant coach at Mississippi. He then worked under Paul “Bear” Bryant as the running backs coach at the University of Alabama in ’81 and ’82.
After his stint at Alabama, Arians became the head coach at Temple University from ’83-’88. He went 27-39 in his tender with the team, but in ’86, the team went 6-5, but had to forfeit their six wins that year due to an ineligible player on the roster making his record 21-39, officially 21-45.
From there, Arians met Bill Cowher when he became the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs from ’89-’92. In ’93, he became the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State until ’95.
In ’96, Arians became the tight ends coach of the New Orleans Saints and left after that season to become the offensive coordinator at Alabama in ’97. In ’98, he became Payton Manning’s quarterback coach and held that position until the end of the ’00 season.
Arians then was hired as the offensive coordinator under Butch Davis by the Cleveland Browns in ’01 where he worked with Chuck Pagano and Todd Bowles. That season the Browns went from 3-13 to 7-9, then 9-7, that is an impressive turnaround.
Arians stayed with the Browns until the end of the ’03 season, then was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the wide receivers coach until ’06. From ’07 thru ’11, he was the Steelers offensive coordinator until his contract expired.
After the ’11 season, Arians was contemplating on retiring until Chuck Pagano offered him the offensive coordinator job with the Indianapolis Colts. In October of ’12, Pagano was hospitalized, Arians took over as the interm head coach and lead a young Colts team to a 9-3 record under him and a playoff appearance.
Arians was a part of one of the biggest turnaround in NFL history and was the first interm head coach to win AP’s Coach of the Year Award. Starting in the early 2000’s, Arians started to become a well-rounded coach and I believe this head coaching position for the Cardinals is well deserved and one that he’s going to excel at with his impressive background.