Buccaneers team physician Dr. Joe Diaco, who has been with Tampa Bay since its inaugural season in 1976, will retire this week after 33 seasons with the team.

“This is a very difficult decision for me because I love the Buccaneers and I love working for the Glazers,” said Diaco. “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 my grandchildren.”

Diaco practiced general and laparoscopic surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, where he served as chief of surgery and staff for a decade. He saw the Bucs at the worst and best, including Super Bowl XXXVII during Tampa Bay’s 2002 season.

“Dr. Diaco has been an important fixture in this organization since its inception, and he will be missed,” said Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik. “We are truly indebted to him for his tireless dedication over the last 33 years, and wish him all the best in retirement.”

Dr. John Zvijac will continue to serve as Tampa Bay’s orthopedic surgeon while Dr. Chat Janecki and Dr. Dan Lamar serve as team associate orthopedic surgeons.

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