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Buccaneers Announce Assistant Coaching Changes


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced the hiring of the following assistant coaches:

Name                         Title

Joey Fitzgerald           Defensive Quality Control

Jeff Kastl                    Offensive Quality Control

Bob Sanders            Outside Linebackers

In addition, Larry Foote will take over as the team’s inside linebackers coach, after former inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell was recently hired as the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Over Foote’s three-year stint coaching the outside linebackers, Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for three Pro Bowl selections. Former Defensive/Special Teams Assistant Cody Grimm was also hired by the Jaguars and will be replaced by Tim Atkins, who previously served as defensive quality control coach for the Buccaneers. John Van Dam will take over as Tampa Bay’s tight ends coach ahead of the 2022 season, after serving as the team’s assistant tight ends coach in 2021. Rick Christophel, who served as tight ends coach from 2019-21, will move into a new role as senior offensive assistant.

Fitzgerald will begin his NFL coaching career with the Buccaneers in 2022 as defensive quality control coach. Most recently, Fitzgerald worked as the quarterbacks coach at Northwestern State (2021) following a two-year stint as wide receivers coaching at the University of Louisiana Monroe (2019-20). The Fort Lauderdale native previously served as recruiting specialist at the University of Florida in 2018 – a program that went 10-3 on its way to a Peach Bowl victory that season. He has also previously held offensive roles at Southeastern Louisiana (2017), University of Virginia’s College at Wise (2016) and Eastern Kentucky (2015). While in graduate school, Fitzgerald began his coaching career as a defensive intern and graduate assistant at Florida Atlantic from 2009-12, working with the defensive backs and linebackers, prior to spending two years at Mississippi State (2013-14) as a graduate assistant and offensive quality control coach. Fitzgerald played quarterback at Hampden-Sydney College from 2005-08, during which his team claimed the 2007 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship.

Kastl comes to Tampa Bay as offensive quality control coach following two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana State University (2020-21). He previously spent four seasons at the University of Texas-San Antonio where he began his career as the wide receivers coach in 2016, prior to adding pass game coordinator duties in 2018, and later being promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2019. His receivers broke 10 school records during his three seasons mentoring the position group.

A former University of Michigan quarterback, Kastl spent four seasons coaching in the Power Five conferences, working as an offensive assistant at LSU (2015), defensive analyst at his alma mater (2013-14), and as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 2012. Following a pair of Big Ten titles during his playing career at Michigan (2002-06), Kastl began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Central Michigan (2007) before spending three years at Ashland University (2009-11). He is a native of Clinton Township, Michigan.

Sanders takes over as the Buccaneers outside linebackers coach in 2022, bringing 17 years of NFL coaching experience and 40 years of total coaching experience to his new role. Sanders last coached in 2019 as the defensive coordinator for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football. Prior to that, Sanders spent three seasons as linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals, working alongside current Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians and Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles.

During his time in Arizona, outside linebacker Chandler Jones recorded 28.0 sacks in two seasons (2016-17), leading the NFL in that category with 17.0 in 2017. He was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl and also earned his first AP first-team All-Pro honors under Sanders’ guidance that season. In 2016, both Jones (11.0) and Markus Golden (12.5) accumulated double-digit sack totals, marking just the third time in team history that Arizona had multiple players record 10.0-or-more sacks in the same season. Golden’s 12.5 sacks that year were a career high and marked the most by a linebacker in Cardinals’ history, before being surpassed by Jones’ 17.0 the following season. In his three seasons in Arizona, the Cardinals defense finished as the No. 5 overall defense in 2015 (321.7 ypg), the No. 2 overall defense in 2016 (305.2 ypg) and the No. 6 overall defense in 2017 (310.9 ypg). Arizona tied for the seventh-most sacks in the NFL (121.0) during that three-season span.


Sanders first broke into the NFL coaching ranks as linebackers coach for the Miami Dolphins from 2001-04. He then spent the 2005 season as defensive ends coach for the Green Bay Packers prior to being promoted to defensive coordinator from 2006-08. In 2009, Sanders joined the Buffalo Bills as defensive line coach and later spent two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach (2010-12). His final NFL stint before joining Arians’ staff, was serving as linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2013-14. With the Raiders, Sanders helped tutor Khalil Mack, who finished the 2014 season as a finalist for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, tallying 84 tackles, 4.0 sacks, four passes defensed and one forced fumble in his debut season.

Before he began his NFL coaching career, Sanders spent 22 seasons at the collegiate ranks. His final collegiate job was at the University of Florida, where he coached for 11 years on the defensive side of the ball, spending one season as assistant head coach and nine as assistant defensive coordinator. Under Sanders’ guidance, Florida led the SEC in sacks in four consecutive seasons (1996-99), while winning five SEC titles and the 1996 National Championship. He previously coached at Georgia Tech (1978), East Carolina (1980-82), Richmond (1983-84) and Duke (1985-89) prior to his time at Florida.


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