Legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was supposed to be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor in 2020. But that was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tampa Bay started the season with no fans in the stands and only got attendance up to 20 percent capacity. Given Kiffin’s age and the near empty stands, the Bucs wisely put off his induction for a year.
“That’s why things happened the way they did last year,” Glazer said. “So that would be the plan [to induct him in 2021]. I’m sure when the schedule comes out we’ll have more details in the not too distant future.”
The Bucs organization announced Kiffin’s honor at his surprise 80th birthday party that the team threw for him at Raymond James Stadium last February. Bucs owner/co-chairman Bryan Glazer praised Kiffin’s career in Tampa Bay last year during the team’s announcement.
“Monte Kiffin’s contributions to building and sustaining one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history were crucial to our franchise’s most successful era. Monte worked closely with Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden using his signature defense that became the team’s identity. It was a key part of winning the Super Bowl. He was an outstanding coach, teacher and leader who consistently got the best out of his players. We eagerly anticipate welcoming him into our Ring of Honor this upcoming season.”
Kiffin coached football for 52 seasons, the longest stretch of it with Tampa Bay from 1996-2008. Kiffin the longest-tenured coach in franchise history and also won the most games with 99.
Kiffin’s defense ranked in the Top 10 in yards allowed 11 times and in points allowed 12 times. That included eight Top 5 finishes and two No. 1 rankings in 2002 and 2005. The 2002 defense propelled the Bucs to their first Super Bowl championship is one of the best in NFL history. That unit set Super Bowl records with five interceptions and three pick-sixes.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com