Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is being recognized for assembling one of the most diverse coaching staffs in the NFL. The Women’s Sports Foundation announced Thursday that Arians will receive the 2020 Champion for Equality award.
The award is given to “an individual or organization that has shown an unwavering commitment to gender equality and the advancement of girls and women in sports,” according to the WSF. Arians hired two women to his coaching staff: assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar and assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust.
The WSF applauded Arians and the Bucs for “working for gender inclusivity in what is historically known to be a male-dominated sport.”
“Since taking the helm in Tampa Bay in January 2019, Arians has assembled the most gender diverse coaching staff in the NFL,” announced the Women’s Sports Foundation. “He has hired two female coaches as full-time assistants — a first within the league — and this offseason, the Buccaneers have added to their front office talent with the addition of Jacqueline Davidson as the team’s director of football research. Indicative of his belief in equal opportunity, the two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year has spent his career working for gender inclusivity in what is historically known to be a male-dominated sport.”
Tennis legend — and WSF founder — Billie Jean King will present the award to Arians during the 2020 Annual Salute to Women in Sports online broadcast at Yahoo Sports. The event will take place Oct. 14.
Bruce Arians has pushed for a diverse staff
While Arians is being presented the award for gender equality, he’s also pushed for a racially diverse staff in Tampa Bay. When Arians joined the Bucs in 2019, he hired Keith Armstrong to take care of special teams, Todd Bowles to run the team’s defense, Harold Goodwin to be the team’s assistant coach and run coordinator and Byron Leftwich to run the team’s offense. All four men are Black, giving the Bucs the only staff in the NFL to have at least three Black coordinators.
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