One day after becoming the winningest coach in franchise history, Bruce Arians officially announced his retirement following five seasons with the Cardinals.
"The tears you see are really tears of joy and peace," an emotional Arians said Monday while fighting back tears. "I'll miss the players. Ill miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem, because it still gets me."
Arians, 65, said the main reason he's retiring after compiling a 49-30-1 mark, including a 2015 NFC West crown and trip to the NFC championship game among two playoff appearances, is to be with his family. He said in a statement, without taking questions afterward, that he "probably truly didn't know" he'd retire until after Phil Dawson's game-winning kick to beat the Seahawks on Sunday.
However, PFW exclusively reported early last week that the two-time Coach of the Year and the Cardinals would mutually agree to part ways.
PFW's Hub Arkush previously wrote that Arians, who is less than two seasons removed from taking the Cardinals to the NFC title game with a 13-3 team in 2015, would have "an amicable split" with the team and that he would be taking "a hiatus from coaching."
Arians, a 25-year NFL coaching veteran and one of the game's more innovative and aggressive offensive minds, wouldn't rule out Monday the possibility of embarking on a media career.
"I will miss the game," he said. "Now I’ll actually miss you guys. Hell, I might be on your side, I don’t know."
ESPN reported Monday morning that the Cardinals have requested permission to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to replace Arians. Shurmur, expected to be a popular candidate, has also been requested by the Lions for an interview.