Bajakian (pronounced buh-JAKE-ee-an) comes to Tampa Bay from the University of Tennessee, where he has spent the past two seasons (2013-14) as the team’s offensive coordinator. Bajakian was part of the coaching staff that helped the 2014 Volunteers earn the school’s first bowl game appearance since 2010, winning the 2015 Taxslayer Bowl. Tennessee went 4-1 in the final five games of the season, behind freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who set a Tennessee single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a win over South Carolina. In that same game, the team tied a school record with 35 first downs, en route to racking up 645 yards of offense, its most against an SEC opponent since 1997. During the team’s 4-1 stretch to end the season, it averaged 37 points per game, including three games of at least 45 points. In his first season with Tennessee, the team rushed for 2,261 yards, its most since 2004.
Prior to joining the Volunteers, Bajakian worked as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the University of Cincinnati (2010-12). While with the Bearcats, quarterback Zach Collaros became only the second passer in school history to reach the 6,000 yards (6,278) and 50 touchdowns (51). Cincinnati won conference titles in each of the final two seasons that Bajakian coached there, with the 2012 team leading the Big East in scoring offense, rushing offense and yards per play. The team also led the Big East in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense in 2010.
From 2007-09, Bajakian worked as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Central Michigan, where he had previously worked as the quarterbacks coach (2002-03). In his three seasons as the Chippewas’ offensive coordinator, the school posted its three highest-scoring offenses since joining the MAC in 1975, led by quarterback Dan LeFevour, who ended his career with 150 touchdowns, then an NCAA FBS-record. A two-time MAC Offensive Player of the year, LeFevour finished his career with 15,853 yards of total offense, then the NCAA’s second-highest career total.
Bajakian has previously worked in the NFL, working as offensive quality control for three seasons (2004-06) under current Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith. He was a member of the 2006 Chicago Bears team that won the NFC Championship and played in Super Bowl XLI.
In 1996, Bajakian got his start in coaching, spending two seasons (1996-97) as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for Delbarton School (Morristown, New Jersey). He also coached at Rutgers (graduate assistant/defensive backs, 1998-99), Sacred Heart (quarterbacks coach, 2000) and Michigan (graduate assistant/quarterbacks, 2000-01), before his first stint with Central Michigan in 2002.
A native of River Vale, New Jersey, Bajakian was an All-New England Small College Athletic Conference and All-ECAC quarterback at Williams College. He and his wife, Michelene, have three children: Mary, Anna and Emma.
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