Former Buccaneers quarterback gets head coaching gig

Dec 14, 1997; Trent Dilfer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY NETWORK
Dec 14, 1997; Trent Dilfer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY NETWORK /

A former quarterback of the Tampa Buccaneers is moving on up in the coaching world, which is a cool thing even if his Buccaneers days are long gone.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Trent Dilfer out of Fresno State with the sixth overall pick in the 1994 draft, they obviously had high hopes for the quarterback. After all, this was a franchise at the time that was constantly looking for the one player that was going to turn the ship around despite weak rosters (see Vinny Testaverde), which seem to always lead to ugly results. Suffice to say, Dilfer wasn’t much better for the Buccaneers, but that doesn’t mean his tenure with the Bucs is without positives.

It’s somewhat easy to forget now, because of the defenses that the Tony Dungy-led Bucs featured, but Dilfer watch the quarterback for those teams before getting hurt in 1999, where he was replaced by Shaun King, and eventually Brad Johnson. Dilfer certainly was not the savior the Buccaneers were hoping he would be, but all things considered, he is in the upper echelon of quarterbacks for the history of this franchise. Granted, that isn’t saying a whole lot, but facts are facts.

Dilfer took the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years during the 1997 season and earned himself a Pro Bowl birth. Dilfer’s 38 career wins are also still the most ever by a Buccaneers starting quarterback. Let that sink in. He also threw a punch at John Randle in the middle of a game in 1995. That alone should hold him in higher esteem.

He would eventually win a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, but it was during his first season away from the franchise as the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. Super Bowl XXV just happened to be played in Raymond James Stadium that year.

Fast forward to 2022 after a coaching stint in high school football in Tennessee, Dilfer has been named the new head coach for the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The Blazers now have themselves a coach, who, despite his physical limitations, always knew the X’s and O’s of the game inside and out, and should be a pretty good hire for UAB.

While Trent Dilfer’s time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a long since past, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t be happy for the signal collar, boo did help usher in some relevance for the franchise.

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