INDIANAPOLIS –The non-ending work of any general manager is to be prepared to run a program smoothly when changes occur.
Thus has been the approach of Ryan Grigson over the past year, and he will move forward again as offensive coordinator Bruce Arians departs Indianapolis to be the head coach of Arizona.
"We congratulate Bruce on this great opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals," said Grigson. "The exceptional job he did this past season in keeping this team focused, combined with his long record of accomplishment, made him a very attractive candidate for a head coaching position and we congratulate the Cardinals on their good judgment in selecting him. BA did a remarkable job last season, filling in for his friend and head coach in a time of need. Without BA's selflessness, leadership, football acumen and competitive spirit, we couldn't have had the season we did. We surely will miss BA's presence as a coach and a friend, but we're delighted for him and we wish Bruce, Chris, and their entire family nothing but the best as they embark on their new journey."
Arians' departure means two of the team's three coordinators this coming season will be new. Tom McMahon joined the Colts this week to direct special teams. McMahon joined the Colts after serving in the same role with Kansas City last season. He had the same position with St. Louis from 2009-11, and he replaces Marwan Maalouf.
Arians had two tenures with the Colts. He was the quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000, before departing for Cleveland and later Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers' offensive coordinator from 2007-11 before returning to Indianapolis last season in the same role under Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
"We are excited for Bruce, Chris, and his entire family," said Pagano. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I know he will do a great job. Arizona hired a great coach but a better man. What he did in my absence was truly remarkable. I am forever in debt to Bruce. He is and always will be a great friend, and I wish him nothing but the best as he begins this new chapter in his life."
Arians served a 12-game stint as interim coach when Pagano was absent during a successful fight with leukemia. Arians produced a 9-3 mark, tying the NFL record set twice previously for the most wins by an interim leader.
Arians helped oversee the development of Andrew Luck, who set NFL rookie records in attempts (627), yards (4,374) and 300-yard games (six). Luck helped lead seven fourth-quarter or overtime game-winning drives, tying the mark for the most by any quarterback since 1970.
Arians joins a list of former coaches during the club's Indianapolis era who went on to other head coaching positions. Vince Tobin left the Colts in 1996 and served five seasons with Arizona. Ted Marchibroda served as Baltimore's leader from 1996-98. Gunther Cunningham directed Kansas City from 1999-2000, while Leslie Frazier has been Minnesota's field leader since 2010. Brad Childress assisted with the Colts in 1985 and later served from 2006-10 with Minnesota. Hal Hunter served for the last game in 1984 for the Colts, while Rick Venturi did so as well with Indianapolis in 1991 and New Orleans in 1996.
San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh was the Colts' quarterback from 1994-97. Tom Cable was a Colts replacement player in 1987 who served from 2008-10 with Oakland.