Bucs team doctor Joe Diaco retires
Bucs team physician Dr. Joe Diaco has retired after 33 seasons.
"This is a very difficult decision for me because I love the Buccaneers and I love working for the Glazers,'' Diaco said. "The Glazer family has been nothing but kind and generous to me and my family. I leave with a heavy heart but this will allow me to work with my son in his practice, and more importantly, spend more time with my children and grandchildren.''
Dr. John Zvijac, who has served as the Bucs' orthopedic surgeon since 1998, will continue in that capacity. Dr. Chet Janecki and Dr. Dan Lamar will serve as associate orthopedic surgeons for the team.
Diaco is one of only two employees who have worked for the Bucs since their inaugural season in 1976. He has been the chief team physician since 1978.
"Dr. Diaco has been an important fixture in this organization since its inception and he will be missed,'' said general manager Mark Dominik.
Diaco's most documented incident occurred during the 2006 season when quarterback Chris Simms suffered a ruptured spleen in a game against Carolina. He left the game briefly in the second half to receive intravenous fluids but was cleared by Diaco to return to the game, which Simms finished. But following the game, it was Diaco who determined that Simms might be bleeding internally and is credited for saving his life by having him immediately transported to St. Joseph's Hospital where Simms underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen.