Buccaneers hire Bates to be defensive coordinator

TAMPA, Fla. -- New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris made the first major addition to his staff Thursday, hiring Jim Bates to take his old position as the team's defensive coordinator.

Morris was promoted from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator on Christmas Day, but he wound up with his first head-coaching job after Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were fired last week.

The defensive coordinator's position opened initially when Monte Kiffin decided to leave the Bucs to join his son, Lane, at the University of Tennessee.

Bates, who has been in coaching 39 years, has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL for eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (1994), Miami Dolphins (2000-04), Green Bay Packers (2005) and, most recently, the Denver Broncos (2007).

Bates also was the Dolphins' interim head coach for the final seven games of 2004.

Under Bates, the Dolphins ranked sixth in the league in total defense in 2000, fifth in 2001, third in 2002, 10th in 2003 and eighth in 2004. The season after he left (2005), Miami slipped to 18th.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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