Todd Bowles can join rare club for ex-assistants in 2022

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Head Coach Todd Bowles will match two former Super Bowl-winning head coaches who were assistants the year before, should the Bucs win Super Bowl LVII.

What will new Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles hope to have in common by the end of the 2022 Season with George Seifert, former assistant coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and Don McCafferty, former assistant coach of the former Baltimore Colts? The answer is being assistants one year to Super Bowl-winning Head Coaches for the same team in consecutive seasons.

Seifert was hired for the 1989 season after legendary coach Bill Walsh retired following the Niners’ Super Bowl XXIII win over the Cincinnati Bengals.  He started with the team as a defensive backs coach in 1980 and ultimately rose to defensive coordinator in his final year as an assistant in 1988. Seifert coached San Francisco to a 14-2 regular-season record in his debut season in charge that culminated in a 55-10 demolition of John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV.

McCafferty was a long-time assistant to legendary Head Coach Don Shula while he was heading up the Colts back in the early to late 1960s. Shula left Baltimore to lead the Miami Dolphins in 1970, their fifth year of existence. McCafferty was then named the top man for the Colts after working as an assistant for Shula and before him Weeb Ewbank, for 11 years in Baltimore. That same 1970 season, the Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys on a last-second field goal from Jim O’Brien in Super Bowl V.

Bowles’ background does differ from Seifert and McCafferty in that he already has had one NFL head coaching job leading the New York Jets from 2015 through 2018.  Not to mention, Bowles won a Super Bowl as starting free safety for Washington in Super Bowl XXII. Similar to Seifert, Bowles’s championship involved a blowout victory over the overmatched Denver Broncos.

Another thing that McCafferty and Seifert have in common with Bowles is that all three assistants inherited veteran, eventual Super Bowl-winning, and Hall of Fame signal callers, and arguably the three best of all time. McCafferty had a late 30’s Johnny Unitas under center, Seifert had the good fortune of having, at age 33, Joe Montana (and later Steve Young) lead the team and Bowles will have a 45-year-old Tom Brady. If history holds, the template that led to McCafferty and Seifert first as assistants and then to Super Bowl glory in their first year at the helm of their teams could be the same thing that lifts Bowles to a Super Bowl win in his first year in charge with Tampa Bay.

It’s remarkable how similar all three situations are, and if the stars stay aligned as they appear to be, the future looks bright for Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.