Koetter joins Tampa Bay after three seasons working as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons (2012-14). During Koetter’s three seasons with Atlanta, the team cumulatively ranked second in the NFL in completion percentage (67.4), third in third-down conversion percentage (44.1), fourth in passing yards (277.2 per game), ninth in passing touchdowns (86), ninth in passer rating (93.9), 10th in points (24.0 per game) and 10th in total yardage (363.5 per game), while posting the second-fewest penalties (243) and penalty yards (2,043), seventh-fewest turnovers (69) and the ninth-lowest interception percentage (2.4) in the league. Koetter was part of the Falcons staff that went 13-3 in 2012 and played in the NFC Championship Game.
“I’m very excited to welcome Dirk to our staff,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith. “With over three decades of experience at both the college and the NFL level, Dirk has a proven track record as a top offensive coordinator. During his time in Atlanta, he led one of the most productive offenses in the league and I believe he will enjoy similar success here with the exciting young players we have on offense. It became very apparent early in our conversations that we share some of the same philosophies regarding the offensive side of the ball and I look forward to working with Dirk as we begin preparing for the 2015 season.”
Under Koetter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan posted the three highest passing yardage seasons in franchise history, as well as three of the four highest completion percentage seasons. In 2012, Ryan set franchise records and personal bests in passing yards (4,719), completion percentage (68.6) and passing touchdowns (32), while recording the second-highest passer rating mark in Falcons history (99.1). Atlanta wide receivers also flourished under Koetter, with Julio Jones setting a franchise record and ranking third in the NFL in receiving yards in 2014 with 1,593 yards. In the past three seasons, the Falcons had a different player lead the team in receiving yards each season (Roddy White, 2012; Harry Douglas, 2013; Jones, 2014).
While Koetter was in charge of the Falcons’ offense, he coached three players to Pro Bowl appearances (Julio Jones, 2012, 2014; Tony Gonzalez, 2012-13, Matt Ryan, 2012), with Gonzalez earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2012. In his first season with Koetter in 2012, Gonzalez set a franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end, recording 93 catches for 930 yards, the most he had recorded in either category since 2008. That same season, Jones and White combined for 2,549 receiving yards, the most by a duo in the NFL.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Koetter spent five seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2007-11). In his five years with the Jaguars, the team cumulatively ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards (132.0 per game) and sixth in rushing average (4.41). Koetter’s Jacksonville offenses also showed a penchant for taking care of the football, tallying the seventh-fewest turnovers in the league during that time.
Koetter had immediate success in Jacksonville, with his 2007 team setting franchise records in points (25.7 per game, sixth in the NFL) and total offense (357 yards per game, seventh in the NFL). In his first season as the starter, quarterback David Garrard ranked third in the NFL and set a franchise record in passer rating (102.2), throwing a league-low three interceptions, while leading the team to a Wild Card playoff berth and a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2008 Garrard threw for a career-best 3,620 yards and in 2010 he tossed 23 touchdowns, a career high and a franchise record.
While in Jacksonville, Koetter coached four different players to six Pro Bowl selections, including running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who earned three trips to the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in rushing in 2010 en route to earning an All-Pro selection. Koetter also helped tight end Marcedes Lewis earn a Pro Bowl berth following the 2010 season, when Lewis caught 10 touchdown passes, tied for the most in a season in Jaguars history.
Before joining the Jaguars, Koetter had spent 22 years at the collegiate level, most recently as the head coach at Arizona State (2001-06). In his six seasons with the Sun Devils, Koetter led the team to four bowl games, posting a 40-34 record. Working as both the head coach and offensive coordinator, he helped Arizona State average nearly 30 points per game over six seasons, while ranking in the top 20 in the nation in passing offense in five of his six years. In addition, five of the six Sun Devil teams during Koetter’s tenure produced a 1,000-yard receiver and the quarterback threw for 20 or more touchdowns in five of six seasons.
Koetter got his first head coaching job at Boise State, where he spent three seasons (1998-2000), finishing with a 26-10 record and two consecutive bowl wins. He was a two-time Big West Coach of the Year and two-time conference champion.
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Koetter played collegiately at Idaho State (1978-81), helping lead his team to a Division I-AA national championship as a senior. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and earned a master’s in athletic administration a year later. After getting his master’s, he became the head coach at Highland (Idaho) High School, where he worked from 1983-84, going 19-4 and winning the 1984 state championship.
In 1985, Koetter worked as the offensive coordinator at San Francisco State and from 1986-88 was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Texas El-Paso. He then served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Missouri from 1989-93 and offensive coordinator at Boston College (1994-95) and Oregon (1996-97).
Koetter, 55, and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Kaylee and Kendra, and two sons, Derek and Davis.
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