What Is the History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

What Is the History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were founded in 1976 as an expansion team to the National Football League. The franchise was awarded to Jacksonville tax attorney Hugh Culverhouse. The Buccaneers won the NFL's Lombardi Trophy in 2003; they defeated the Oakland Raiders to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

The Buccaneers initially joined the NFL as members of the AFC West, but after just one year the team switched conferences with the other 1976 expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, and became members of the NFC Central. This arrangement was by design, as NFL officials sought to give both new teams the opportunity to play every NFL franchise within their first two seasons.

Former USC coach John McKay was selected as the team's head coach. However, McKay's successful career as a college coach did not translate to success in the NFL. In the midst of a 26-game losing streak, fans called for McKay to be let go with slogans such as "Throw McKay in the Bay." The Bucs finally won their first regular season game in the 13th week of the 1977 season.

In 1979, the team attained a 10-6 record, giving the franchise its first winning season and first playoff berth. The Bucs advanced to the NFC Championship game but lost to the St. Louis Rams.

Tampa Bay was one of the worst teams in the league most years in the 1980s and 1990s. From 1983 to 1995, the Bucs lost more than 10 games every year. Near the end of the 1990s, the team began to enjoy successes again with Tony Dungy as head coach. The team made the playoffs again in 1997, Dung's second year.

In 2002, the team won the Super Bowl in John Gruden's first season as coach.