Buccaneers hire two locals among 11 assistants

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added 11 assistant coaches to new coach Lovie Smith’s staff.

The hirings include former Bucs star Hardy Nickerson as linebackers coach and Kevin O’Dea as special teams coordinator.

Smith was hired last week, replacing Greg Schaino after a 4-12 finish this season.

The other staff additions Thursday were Marcus Arroyo as quarterbacks coach, Joe Cullen as defensive line coach, Andrew Hayes-Stoker as wide receivers coach, Dave Kennedy as head strength and conditioning coach, Barnesville native Larry Marmie as senior defensive assistant, Mikal Smith as safeties coach, St. Clairsville native Tim Spencer as running backs coach, Ben Steele as offensive quality control and Matt Wiegand as assistant offensive line coach.

Marmie has more than four decades of coaching experience, including 13 seasons in the NFL ranks, spending three seasons with Seattle (2006-08), two seasons with St. Louis (2004-05) and eight seasons with Arizona (1996-03).

Most recently, Marmie worked as the defensive backs coach for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League (2009-12).

Before joining the professional ranks, Marmie spent 28 seasons coaching at the collegiate level, beginning at Morehead State (1968-71), before moving on to Eastern Kentucky (1972-76), Tulsa (1977-78), North Carolina (1979-82), Tennessee (1983-84; 1992-94), Arizona State (1985-87, defensive coordinator; 1988-91, head coach) and UCLA (1995). Marmie played quarterback at Eastern Kentucky (1962-65).

Spencer served as running backs coach for the Chicago Bears for nine seasons (2004-12), coaching under Smith during the latter’s tenure in the NFC North.

Spencer had great success tutoring Chicago’s ballcarriers, with individual players recording 1,000-yard rushing seasons on five different occasions (Matt Forte 2008, 2010, 2012; Thomas Jones 2005-06). During that time, the Bears as a team surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark twice (2005, 2011), marking the only two times such a feat has been accomplished in Bears history, and fell less than 100 yards shy of that mark again in 2006.

Spencer began his coaching career at Ohio State, where he tutored running backs from 1994-2003.

With the Buckeyes, Spencer coached Eddie George during George’s Heisman Trophy-winning season in 1995. Spencer was also part of the team’s national championship run in 2002.

A Buckeye running back himself, Spencer played for OSU from 1979-1982, leading the team in rushing during his final two seasons.

He closed his career with 3,553 yards on the ground and served as a senior co-captain, earning team MVP honors. Spencer was the second-overall pick in the 1983 USFL draft, where he played one year each for Chicago (1983), Arizona (1984) and Memphis (1985), before moving to the NFL and playing for the San Diego Chargers (1985-90), where he was a four-year starter at fullback.