Bruce Arians was named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals January 17, 2013. The 60-year-old Arians spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts while also serving as the team’s interim coach for 12 games while head coach Chuck Pagano left the team to undergo treatment for leukemia.
Arians was named the PFW/PFWA Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year and led the Colts to a 9-3 record in his 12 games as interim coach and helped Indianapolis clinch a playoff berth.
The Colts were 9-1 in games decided by one score or less and their nine-win improvement (11-5 from 2-14) from 2011 is tied for the third-largest turnaround in NFL history. The Colts produced the highest combined rushing and receiving yards (3,108) by rookies since the 1970 merger.
Rookie QB Andrew Luck threw for the most passing yards (4,374 yards) by a rookie in NFL history, surpassing Cam Newton’s mark of 4,051 yards set in 2011. Luck had an NFL rookie record six 300-yard passing games and led the Colts on seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or OT, the most by a rookie QB since the 1970 merger.
Arians joined the Colts after spending eight seasons (2004-2011) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the last five as offensive coordinator. While with the Steelers, Arians was instrumental in the development of QB Ben Roethlisberger, helping him become the second-youngest QB to win two Super Bowls (26 years, 336 days). As offensive coordinator, Arians was part of Steeler teams that won three AFC North Division titles, two AFC Championships and Super Bowl XLIII.
In 2009, the Steelers offense became the first in team history to have a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season. That team also broke franchise records for passing first downs (210) and passes completed (351).
Arians has spent 20 years as an NFL assistant coach with five different teams (Indianpolis-2012; 1998-2000, Pittsburgh-2004-11, Cleveland-2001-03, New Orleans-1996, and Kansas City-1989-92). During his first stint in Indianapolis (1998-2000), Arians served as the Colts quarterbacks coach and tutored Peyton Manning. In 2000, Manning totaled 4,413 passing yards and 33 touchdowns to break his own single-season franchise record.
He began his coaching career in 1975 at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, before moving on to coach at Mississippi State (1978-80), Alabama (1981-82;1997), Temple (1983-88), and Mississippi State (1993-95). A native of Paterson, NJ, Arians played quarterback collegiately at Virginia Tech and was voted the team’s MVP as a senior in 1974.