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Bruce Arians and his place among the men of many hats

The new Bucs coach is known for his Kangol cap, but he's hardly the first coach famous for his headgear.
FILE: Then-Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-0. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
FILE: Then-Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-0. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Published Jan. 10, 2019
Updated Jan. 13, 2019

TAMPA — The Bucs are not just getting an experienced offensive mind in new head coach Bruce Arians. They're also getting a look, and the staple of that look is his signature hat.

When Arians walked into One Buc Place for the first time in his new job on Wednesday, he was presented with a Bucs version of the newsboy cap he wears.

He joked with Rich Eisen on Wednesday that he wouldn't have to change his look from his days as Arizona Cardinals head coach. Both teams feature red prominently in their team colors.

"I'll get a few more pewter ones," Arians deadpanned.

NFL uniform rules have prevented Arians from wearing his hat during games except for one when the league allowed him to for charity. But football coaches wearing distinguishable hats used to be a big part of the game. Here's a look at some other sideline signature headwear.

Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was rarely seen without his houndstooth hat prior to a game. (AP Photo/Joe Holloway Jr., File)

Bear Bryant’s houndstooth hat

The legendary Alabama coach also wore a fedora, but it was the houndstooth pattern that made it iconic. Arians — who was an assistant under Bryant in his early coaching years — actually had a photo of Bryant in his signature hat above his desk when coaching the Cardinals. And now you can't go to an Alabama football game without seeing houndstooth all around.

It was not unusual to see John McKay decked out in this white hat on the Bucs sideline. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

John McKay’s white golf hat

As the first coach in Bucs history, McKay wore a white floppy golf hat with a orange band that had "Bucs" scripted across the front, a look so wonderfully and creamsicle nostalgic that the Bucs gave away replicas for their throwback game in 2010. That still stands as one of the best Bucs promotions ever.

It’s not all that typical to see NFL coaches decked out in 10-gallon hats like Bum Phillips was prone to wearing back in the day. (Times file, 1983)

Bum Phillips’ cowboy hat

Phillips had style. Whether it was his 10-gallon Stetson or the leather, sheepskin interior coat he'd wear when the temperature dropped, he brought 1970s fashion to the sidelines. He was the only coach to unabashedly dress like a cowboy. He didn't wear the cowboy hat at games in the Astrodome; his mother told him when he was a kid to never wear a hat indoors.

Did coaches come any more dapper than Tom Landry? (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Tom Landry’s fedora

The Dallas Cowboys' Hall of Famer coach was dapper from head to toe, wearing a blue suit and tie and a fedora, a staple that is even part of his statue at the Cowboys' home stadium. The look seemed almost too professional for the football field, but it fit Landry perfectly. He was always stoic, calm and collected, also the way he wanted his Dallas teams to play.

Ah, the iconic visor that followed Steve Spurrier from Gainesville to the land of Gamecocks. (File photo)

Steve Spurrier’s visor

The ol' ball coach began wearing a visor when he took the head coaching job at Florida in 1990, and he brought swagger to the headwear. College coaches like Lane Kiffin and Hugh Freeze said they wore visors because of Spurrier. For Spurrier, they were also easier to fling in frustration when something went wrong because there was less likelihood he'd get a grass stain on it.


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