In his first year as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2002, Jon Gruden led the team to its first Super Bowl championship. On December 9, Gruden will be back in Tampa to lead that same squad out onto the field at Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers have organized a reunion of that unforgettable ’02 team, which set a team record with 12 regular-season wins and then steamrolled the 49ers, Eagles and Raiders to take the title. That was particularly fitting for Gruden, who had worked for all three of those teams en route to his post with the Buccaneers and, in fact, had left the Raiders to take over in Tampa Bay.
Gruden, who is now an ESPN analyst and a member of the Monday Night Football broadcast team, will join other former players and coaches from the Super Bowl XXXVII team on the field on Dec. 9 when they are honored on the 10th anniversary of that championship season at halftime. The group will also gather at One Buccaneer Place on Saturday night for a special reunion event.
The list of players and coaches from that championship team who will take the field in front of the Raymond James Stadium crowd is impressively long and includes a vast majority of the figures Buccaneer fans will remember. The entire list will be announced shortly on Buccaneers.com.
This will not be Gruden’s first time back at One Buccaneer Place since his final season as head coach in 2008. He returned last year as part of the MNF team for Tampa Bay’s prime-time game against the Indianapolis Colts, even interviewing current Buccaneer players inside team headquarters. This time, however, Gruden and his fellow 2002 Buccaneers will be the ones in the spotlight.