By JORDAN MILLER
TAMPA BAY, FL – From water boy at Carrollton High School to defensive backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals, Mike Chiurco is continuing his career in the National Football League, this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Chiurco, a 1986 graduate of Carrollton High School, said. “I’ve known Bruce now for 21 years. Once you become friends with Bruce, you’re friends with him for life.”
At the end of the 2017 regular season, Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement from the NFL. As is the case for most assistant coaches in the league, when a new coach is hired, he cleans house; leaving Chiurco without a job.
Chiurco didn’t stay jobless for too long, as he was hired as the head football coach at Seton Catholic Prep, a local high school where he lives in Arizona.
In an interview with the Free Press Standard in 2016, Chiurco said he was fortunate to coach in the NFL without ever being the head guy at the high school or college level.
“That was so much fun,” said Chiurco. “I wasn’t doing anything else at the time (when they contacted him), I hadn’t found another NFL job at that time and I had never been a head coach.”
In his first year as the head coach of the high school program, he led them to an 8-4 season, including a playoff appearance and first-round win; but all things must come to an end, even if it was just a one-time thing.
“I’m a man of faith, almost a year to the day I was sitting there and I found out I wasn’t going to be retained by the new head coach at Arizona, Steve Wilks,” he said. “I remember sitting there with my wife and thinking ‘what am I going to do,’ and she said ‘just keep the faith, it’s all going to work out.’”
As the case in most marriages, the woman is always right.
Chiurco’s faith continued to stay strong, and his prayer was answered.
Arians enjoyed retirement but he couldn’t stay off the field for long.
After his one-year hiatus, Arians jumped right back in the saddle, being named the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After the hire was official, one of the first calls Arians made was to Chiruco, telling him he needed him by his side.
“It’s so exciting to be back in the NFL, it’s always been my life-long dream to coach in the National Football League. It’s a hard thing to accomplish…luckily I’ve got to know the right person.”
Chiurco’s new position with the Buccaneers is assistant to the head coach, and he will also play a role coaching on the offensive side of the ball.
“It will help me be a more well-rounded coach from the stand point of Bruce’s offense,” Chiurco said. “His offenses can be pretty complicated at times, so it will be very beneficial.”
Chiurco’s wife and son will be joining him in Tampa Bay after the school year.