INDIANAPOLIS – The first step to building the assistant coaching staff for the Colts is official with the addition of Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator.
The Colts, who added Ryan Grigson as general manager on January 11 and Chuck Pagano as head coach on January 25, have added Arians to oversee the offense.
Arians will be starting his second tenure with the Colts. He served as quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000, when the club started a new era with Head Coach Jim Mora and President Bill Polian.
Arians served for the past five years (2007-11) as offensive coordinator with Pittsburgh. He has 19 years experience in the NFL and more than 35 years overall counting his collegiate career.
Following a 3-13 mark in his first season, Arians helped Indianapolis make a 10-game jump to 13-3 with a vibrant offense featuring young performers virtually across the board. Indianapolis won the AFC East and reached the Divisional Round, then followed the performance the next year with a 10-6 mark and a second consecutive playoff berth. Arians tutored quarterback Peyton Manning to consecutive 4,000-yard seasons in his last two years with the team, with Manning tossing 26 and 33 touchdown passes in those seasons. The 33 scoring passes by Manning in 2000 then marked the team seasonal record.
Arians left Indianapolis to become offensive coordinator with Cleveland in 2001, a post he held for three seasons. In 2002, the Browns scored the most points in a season since 1987. Arians departed Cleveland for Pittsburgh in 2004 as wide receivers coach. He held that role with Pittsburgh for three seasons until being elevated to coordinator in 2007.
During Arians' tenure, the Steelers made playoff appearances from 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2010-11. Pittsburgh advanced to the Divisional round or beyond in four of those six seasons, making three Super Bowls appearances. Pittsburgh topped Seattle, 21-10, in Super Bowl XL, then topped Arizona, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII before dropping a 31-25 outcome to Green Bay in Super Bowl XV.
With Pittsburgh, Arians helped wide receiver Hines Ward develop into one of the most productive receivers in NFL history. Ward ended the 2011 season with 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. Ward posted six 1,000 -yardage seasons, three during Arians' tenure. Ward became the leading receiver in Pittsburgh history.
With his broader duties as coordinator, he helped quarterback Ben Roethlisberger become one of the NFL's top quarterbacks. From 2007-11, Roethlisberger produced a 51-22 starting record (80-33 overall), hitting 1,446-of-2,281 passes for 18,060 yards, with 113 touchdowns and 57 interceptions. For his career, Roethlisberger has completed 2,090-of-3,313 passes for 26,579 yards, with 165 touchdowns and 100 interceptions. He and Arians joined Pittsburgh in 2004. Roethlisberger had 4,000 seasons in 2009 (4,328) and 2011 (4,077). In 2009, Arians helped Pittsburgh have its first-ever offense with a 4,000 passer, 1,000 rusher (Rashard Mendenhall) and two 1,000 receivers (Ward and Santonio Holmes).
Arians previously served in the NFL as running backs coach with Kansas City from 1989-92. He had a one-year stint as tight ends coach with New Orleans in 1996.
This marks his fifth job as an offensive coordinator. In addition to serving as coordinator with Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Arians also held the role at Mississippi State from 1993-95 and with Alabama in 1997. Arians was the head coach at Temple from 1983-88, earning a 28-38 record, the sixth-most victories in school history.
Arians was a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech, his alma mater, from 1975-76, before serving as running backs coach with the school in 1977. He was the running backs and wide receivers coach at Mississippi State from 1978-80, then served as running backs coach at Alabama from 1981-82.