Bruce Arians has spent the last two months denying rumors that he would retire.
The rumors proved to be true as Arians announced Monday he would retire after five seasons as the Cardinals head coach.
“I will miss the game,” said Arians, who went 50-32-1, including two playoff appearances, over five seasons in Arizona. “It’s been a great ride… It’s really hard to walk away from this.”
The coach with the most wins in our history is officially retiring.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 1, 2018
The 50th win of his career was Sunday’s 26-24 win over the Seahawks in Seattle.
Arians, 65, began his coaching career in 1975 as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech. He first became a head coach in 1983 at Temple and led the Owls for six seasons, compiling a 27-39 record. He got his first NFL job in 1989 as the Chiefs running backs coach and was an assistant with the Saints, Colts, Browns and Steelers.
After five seasons as the Steelers offensive coordinator, Arians rejoined the Colts in 2012 as the offensive coordinator. He became the interim head coach after Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo treatment.
Arians was the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2012 after he led the Colts to an 11-5 record and an AFC South title in Pagano’s absence. The Cardinals hired Arians a season later and he was again the league’s Coach of the Year in 2014 when he took the Cardinals to the playoffs. The Cardinals won the NFC West and advanced to the NFC championship game a season later, but have missed the postseason the last two years while plagued by injuries.
Arians developed a reputation as a quarterback guru, helping players like Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer post career highs. While Palmer was among Cardinals players injured the last two seasons, Arians has also battled health issues that led to Monday’s retirement.
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said he wants to find an established leader who will “keep a culture of accountability” to replace Arians.