Bucs announce 11 additions to Smith's coaching staff
The Bucs announced the addition of 11 new assistants to Lovie Smith's coaching staff on Thursday, joining coordinators Jeff Tedford and Leslie Frazier in filling most of his initial staff for 2014.
The group includes seven position coaches, most of which had been previously reported. New names include Smith's oldest son Mikal, who was on his father's staff in Chicago and with Dallas this past season and will coach the Bucs' safeties. Smith added a personal mentor in Larry Marmie, 71, who coached him at Tulsa in the late 70s, hired him as an assistant coach at Arizona State and Tennessee and will now be the Bucs' senior defensive assistant. The team's new strength and conditioning coach, Dave Kennedy, spent the last six years at Texas A&M, working four years at Nebraska and 13 at Ohio State before that. Here are short bios on all 11 new Bucs assistants:
-- Hardy Nickerson, LBs coach: Former All-Pro standout with the Bucs played linebacker under Smith in Tampa Bay and was his linebackers coach in 2007. Has been a high school coach in California for the past four seasons.
-- Kevin O'Dea: special-teams coordinator: O'Dea had four seasons as assistant special-teams coach under Smith in Chicago and worked as a low-level Bucs assistant from 1996-2001. Spent this past season as assistant special-teams coach for Chiefs.
-- Marcus Arroyo, QBs coach: Worked under Tedford at Cal in 2011-12 and spent the past season as offensive coordinator at Southern Miss. It's his first NFL job, but the 33-year-old is familiar with Tedford, as his QBs coach in 2011 with a promotion to pass game coordinator in 2012.
-- Tim Spencer, RBs coach: Worked in same role under Smith for all nine seasons in Chicago, helping running backs Thomas Jones and Matt Forte to a combined five 1,000-yard seasons. He played at Ohio State and spent three years in the USFL, then another six with the Chargers.
-- Andrew Hayes-Stoker, WRs coach: Spent seven years with Smith in Chicago, four as an operations assistant and three as assistant receivers coach. Just 34 years old, he spent last season as running backs coach at Florida International.
-- Joe Cullen, DL coach; Worked as defensive line coach under former Bucs assistant Rod Marinelli in Detroit from 2006-08, then in same role with the Jaguars (2010-12) and this past season with the Browns.
-- Mikal Smith, safeties coach: Smith's eldest son has been an NFL assistant for four years -- he was on his father's staff in Chicago from 2010-12, as defensive quality-control assistant then nickelbacks coach in 2011. He led that same job with the Cowboys in 2013.
-- Larry Marmie, senior defensive assistant: The 71-year-old coached Smith as a player at Tulsa and hired him as a young assistant at Arizona State and Tennessee. He spent six years as an NFL defensive coordinator: Arizona from 2000-03 and St. Louis (following Smith) in 2004-05.
-- Dave Kennedy, head strength and conditioning coach: Has an impressive college resume -- last six seasons at Texas A&M, then four before that at Nebraska and another 13 at Ohio State, where he helped train 17 first-round draft picks.
-- Ben Steele, offensive quality control coach: Former NFL tight end spent two years on Tedford's staff at Cal as an administrative assistant. This season, he was one of several Tedford assistants who worked at Cal-Davis.
-- Matt Wiegand, assistant offensive line coach: Spent 2011-12 as a grad assistant on Tedford's staff at Cal, working with tight ends. Also worked at Cal-Davis this past season.
UPDATE: The Bucs' general manager search added one name and dropped another -- Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard, one of four reported candidates the Bucs had requested permission to interview, said he was staying with Kansas City. A new name in the mix is former Notre Dame and Chiefs receiver Lake Dawson, now a vice president with Titans reportedly interviewing for the Bucs' opening.
ARREST: Bucs backup running back Michael Hill was arrested early Thursday in St. Joseph, Mo., on two counts of disorderly conduct after a disturbance at a local bar. Hill, 24, was released on $500 bond; the Bucs said they were aware of the arrest and collecting information but were not taking any immediate action. Hill, who opened his rookie season with the Packers, played in six games for the Bucs, totaling 23 yards on nine carries.