First reported earlier today as a possibility, the Bucs made it official tonight hiring Giants QBs coach Mike Sullivan as their new offensive coordinator. Sullivan is the first official hire for Greg Schiano.
The first of Tampa Bay's coordinators have been officially hired as tonight the Buccaneers announced the they have reached a contract agreement with Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan as their new offensive coordinator.
"We are very fortunate to add someone like Mike Sullivan to lead our offensive coaching staff," said Head Coach Greg Schiano in an official press release by the Buccaneers this evening. "He is a man of character and a complete football coach, who fits with the kind of football team we are building here. His work with the Giants over the past eight seasons speaks for itself. Mike was an integral part of that team winning two Super Bowls in the last five years and we look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to our club."
Sullivan joins the Buccaneers after working the past eight seasons for the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin, in which time he has earned two Super Bowl Championships, the most recent a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
For the past two seasons, Sullivan has coached the Giants quarterbacks, including Eli Manning. Under his tutelage, Manning has achieved two of the best seasons in the NFL, culminating in a Super Bowl MVP performance on February 5. This past season, Manning set a single-season franchise record in completions (359) and passing yards (4,933), which also ranked as the sixth-highest mark in NFL history. In fact, in two seasons with Sullivan as his position coach, Manning compiled the top two single-season completion totals and two of the top-five passing yards and touchdown passes marks in Giants history.
Before working with the quarterbacks, Sullivan spent six years teaching the Giants' wide receivers. In 2009, his group of wideouts caught 236 passes, of which WR Steve Smith had 107, breaking the franchise record for receptions and becoming the first Giants wide receiver to play in the Pro Bowl in 41 years.
In four seasons under Sullivan's direction, WR Plaxico Burress had 344 catches, placing him 12th on the franchise's career list, while also adding 3,681 receiving yards and 33 touchdown receptions. Burress recorded 10 of those touchdowns in 2006 and 12 the following year to become the first Giant since Del Shofner in 1961-62 to post back-to-back seasons with 10 or more touchdown catches.
Sullivan has a range of coaching ability, having also coached the defensive side of the ball with the Jacksonville Jaguars as their defensive quality control coach in 2002 before becoming the Jaguars' offensive assistant in 2003.
Sullivan joined the Jaguars after nine years coaching at the collegiate level. He began his coaching career at Humboldt State in 1993 and later went on to Army (1995-96 and 1999-00), Youngstown State (1997-98) and Ohio University (2001).
In 1997, while at Youngstown State, Sullivan coached under Jim Tressel as the Penguins won the Division 1-AA National Championship. At Ohio University, he coached the defensive backs and tutored the kick blocking units on special teams.
Sullivan was a defensive back at Army, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989. He also has a master's degree from Humboldt State. Sullivan is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger and Air Assault schools.
He and his wife, Julie, have two daughters.
The Buccaneers are reportedly close to hiring Butch Davis as a senior advisor, but nothing official has been released. There may be some problems relating to his contract buyout with the University of North Carolina according to some published reports today, but the situation is expected to be resolved allowing Davis to join the Buccaneers in some capacity.
A team spokesman would not comment on the Davis situation but did say Sullivan may be available to the media early next week.
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