Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill is energized about his team's future and couldn't be more pleased with its new head coach's credentials.
"The choice really came down to who was going to be the best fit, who was going to be the person that we felt like was going to bring us sustainable winning and to build the program and get a turnaround quickly," Bidwill told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Friday.
Bidwill said he felt good about Arians on Wednesday night when team officials met him for dinner upon his arrival in the Valley. But it was Thursday's interview that solidified to him the Cardinals had found their next head coach.
"I am looking for a leader. I am looking for a guy who's going to bring accountability and performance," Bidwill stated. "Clearly he's a leader. You see the accountability with something he was talking about right from the very beginning and the guys had performance. He's made good players great. He's made great players better. He's taken a very young raw team that had some real challenges in Indianapolis and got them into the playoffs."
Bidwill praised the group of candidates the team was able to interview but said what stood out in his mind about Arians was that he wasn't trying to make the jump from coordinator to head coach, he had already done it successfully.
"When you look at the importance of the decision to elevate a guy and promote him to head coach, he had already checked that box he did it last year," Bidwill explained. "Many organizations have already said he was the Coach of the Year last year. He is a real leader."
The Cardinals had interviewed former defensive coordinator Ray Horton about their head coaching vacancy but did not hire him. They cut ties with Horton entirely on Friday when the Arians move became official.
Horton's departure may have come as a bit of a surprise after he helped build one of the elite defenses in the league.
Bidwill said it is tough for the team to lose Horton, but the decision was one the new regime was able to make together.
"I think it was a very important issue and [Horton]'s a great coach and we all love him and consider him a friend and appreciate his contributions to the team so that was a hard one to sort of work through," Bidwill said. "It was great way to see how are we going to work together and let's talk this out and let's make a Cardinal decision."
The Cardinals have made a decision to move forward and not look back, and Bidwill is excited for the journey.