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'It was a scare': Bucs former head coach opens up about health issues, leaving the team

Bruce Arians sat down with CBS Mornings for an interview Tuesday surrounding his departure as head coach of the Tampa Bay team.
Credit: CBS News
Bruce Arians

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers former head coach sat down with CBS Mornings Tuesday to talk about his departure from the team — or how he actually never left.

Bruce Arians, who was an NFL coach for 29 years, stepped down from his title earlier this year. And he said it wasn't a hard decision.

"I knew it was time," he explained during the interview. "I wanted to have succession, it was really important for me that one of my guys took over."

And one of them certainly did --  Arians said he wanted to make sure Todd Bowles, who's the current head coach of the Bucs, got the job.

When asked if he missed the day-to-day of being a coach, the 69-year-old said he's still lucky to be involved with the team after moving to the front office.

“I’m on the field every day, I travel with the team…I got the best of both worlds,” he said.

The only difference for the former coach is now being in the press box during practices and games.

But after speaking about his relationship with the Tampa Bay team, Arians delved into a health scare that hit him a couple of years back.

During the interview, he said he woke his wife up randomly in the middle of the night and said he needed to go to the hospital after experiencing chest pains.

"It was a scare," Arians said. He thought it was a heart attack but it luckily wasn't.

But after the scare, the former head coach got a coach for himself. With the help of a health coach, he lost 40 pounds and is dieting, exercising and on medication for his cholesterol.

"Bad cholesterol and stress is a silent killer,” he explained.

When asked if it was hard to communicate his health issues with the football team, Arians said honesty is key.

“You gotta be honest with your guys,” he said. “I told them what was going on, got great care…”

He went on to urge anybody, especially in stressful situations or jobs, to get their cholesterol checked

Watch the full interview below.

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