After 17 long days, the Arizona Cardinals have finally found their next head coach.
Apparently the Cardinals front office left impressed from their Thursday interview with Indianapolis Colts offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians. So much so, that the 60-year-old has been hired to take over the vacancy previously held by Ken Whisenhunt.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 18, 2013
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the hiring Thursday evening.
Arians, who has most recently served as the offensive coordinator with the Colts (2012) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-2011), has been an NFL assistant dating back to 1989.
He has previously worked with quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
Arians will become the 39th coach in team history and the ninth since the team moved to the Valley.
Darren Urban of ArizonaCardinals.com has reported that the both Arians and the organization have agreed to terms on a deal and that a press conference will be scheduled for Friday.
Bruce Arians and @azcardinals agree to 4-yr contract making Arians new head coach. Team option for 5th year. Press conference Friday.
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) January 18, 2013
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter also reported terms of the agreement earlier in the evening.
While Arians has no official head coaching experience in the NFL, during the 2012 season he took over as the Colts head coach in early October after Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Indianapolis went 9-3 under Arians and made an unlikely run to the NFL playoffs.
In his lone year with the Colts, the team finished the regular season ranked 7th in the NFL in total offense, averaging 419 yards per game.
As an offensive assistant in Pittsburgh for seven years, Arians helped lead the Steelers to six postseason appearances, including two Super Bowl wins in 2005 and 2008.
Ironically, this will not be the first time Arians has replaced Ken Whisenhunt. After Whisenhunt left to become the Cardinals head coach in 2007, Arians replaced him as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator.
Arizona’s current defensive coordinator Ray Horton served with Arians in Pittsburgh from 2004-2010. While the Cardinals defense finished the 2012 season finished in top 5 in team defense and takeaways, Arians remained quiet during a Thursday media session about Horton’s future with the team.