“Ring of Honor” one of the greatest achievements or “honors” that a player, coach, or even owner can be given. A Ring of Honor is just that a ring around the concourse of the stadium where the team’s best players, coaches, owners have their names permanently displayed to honor the permanent impact they had on the team.
The Buccaneers had a “Krewe of Honor” at old Tampa stadium but it was destroyed when the stadium was demolished. The Buccaneers true “Ring of Honor” did not start until the 2009 season with the enshrinement of the first Buccaneers draft pick, the first Buccaneers in the NFL Hall of Fame, and the first Buccaneer to have his number retired number 63 Lee Roy Selmon.
Followed by the Buccaneers first head coach John McKay, tight end Jimmie Gilies, and offensive tackle Paul Gruber in consecutive years.
In 2013 with the announcement of the second Buccaneer to go into the NFL Hall of Fame the Buccaneers retired number 99, and added Warren Sapp to the Ring.
In 2014 it was announced that a third Buccaneer would go into the NFL Hall of Fame and the Buccaneers retired number 55, and added Derrick Brooks to the Ring.
2015 was the first year that two Buccaneers were added to the ring in running back Mike Alstott and first great quarterback of the team Doug Williams. 2016 brought John Lynch to the ring as an integral part of the Buccaneers Super Bowl winning defense.
The Ring of Honor Inductees for 2017
On May 30th it was announced that “The Owner who Turned Around the Franchise” Malcolm Glazer and “The Coach who Brought the Franchise a Super Bowl” Jon Gruden would be inducted into the Buccaneers “Ring of Honor.”
The Late Owner Malcolm Glazer
The Malcolm Glazer bought the team in 1994 for a sum of $192 million and his sons were put in charge, and he was instrumental in getting a new stadium built for the team in Raymond James Stadium.
In 1995, the start of “Building the Best Defense Ever” began with the drafting of Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks in the first round.
In 1996, Tony Dungy was hired as head coach and Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator.
He also brought about change to the team by replacing Tampa’s original “Creamsicle” uniforms with the Tampa red and pewter color scheme.
Prior to Malcolm Glazer buying the team the history of the Bucs was basically a laughing-stock of the league with a franchise record of 95 wins 216 losses and 1 tie.
Once Dungy was hired the team saw an immediate defensive turn around winning one division title and having three wild card births making it as far as the NFC title game in 1998, but losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams.
Dungy compiled a record of 56 wins and 46 losses, but despite having a top 5 defense every year could never get the offense going. After the 2001 season Tony Dungy was shockingly fired.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Greatest Coach Jon Gruden
On February 20th 2002, Raiders Coach Jon Gruden was traded to the Buccaneers for two 1st round pick, three 2nd round pick, and $8 million.
The first thing Gruden did when he arrived was to keep the entire defensive staff in place because the defense was not the problem and he started working on improving the offense.
That year Buccaneers won the newly formed NFC South finishing with a 12-4 record and ultimately beat the Eagles and the 49ers in the playoffs on their way to the Super Bowl.
In Super Bowl 37 the Bucs ended up in a showdown with Gruden’s old team the Oakland Raiders in a battle of the #1 defense versus the #1 offense. The Bucs proceeded to rout the Raiders 48-21 with a Super Bowl record three pick 6s, and bringing the Buccaneers their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
After the 2007 season where the Bucs finished 9-7 making the playoffs as a wild card team before losing to the eventually Super Bowl champions NY Giants, and several sub par seasons Jon Gruden was abruptly fired.
While Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden compiled a record of 60 wins 57 losses (60 wins is number 1 in Buccaneers history) with three division titles and of course 1 Super Bowl Championship.
The 2017 Ring of Honor inductees were both instrumental in bringing the Buccaneers their Super Bowl title. Coach Jon Gruden in bringing that extra offensive burst that put the team over the top in their Super Bowl victory and the late owner Malcolm Glazer who made the changes that were necessary to get the team to the ultimate prize. His sons who are still in control of the team have also been instrumental in bringing the new cornerstones to the team that hopefully will bring the Bucs another Super Bowl Championship.
To all the Stick Carriers out there remember to always “FIRE THEM CANNONS” … BOOM …BOOM … BOOM.