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Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians retires

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Apparent change of plans for longtime assistant coach

Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has apparently decided to retire from coaching after almost 40 years.

“Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in a statement released by the team. “I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team’s offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

Arians, 59, spent 19 years as an NFL assistant and had served on Pittsburgh's staff since 2004, originally as the team's wide receivers coach under Bill Cowher. Mike Tomlin promoted Arians to offensive coordinator in 2007, the same year Tomlin arrived. Arians replaced Ken Whisenhunt, who left to become the Arizona Cardinals' head coach.

Following the Steelers playoff loss to Denver earlier this month, Tomlin said that there would be no changes on the coaching staff, and Arians told several media outlets that he intended to return for the 2012 season.

However, Steelers president Art Rooney II said this week that some members of the coaching staff “were considering retirement,” which fueled speculation that the front office—and not Tomlin—wanted the change. Rooney denied that in a radio interview, however, telling WDVE-FM that Arians' future was "really Mike's decision," referring to Tomlin.

In five seasons with Arians as the offensive coordinator, the Steelers reached the Super Bowl twice, winning Super Bowl XLIII in 2008.

Arians was also an NFL assistant for the Chiefs, Saints, Colts and Browns, and spent 18 seasons as a college coach, including six as the head coach at Temple. A York, PA native, Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech.

He and his wife Christine have a son, Jake, who played briefly for the Buffalo Bills, and a daughter, Kristi Anne.

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