Dirk Koetter was able to rise to the position of head coach of a German Bundesliga soccer team after several years as an offensive coordinator, although he had originally started in the position of a school team. The two-time Big West Coach of the Year and winner of the Big West Championship would like to build on this success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom he has been coaching since 2016.
Koetter was born as the son of Dirk Jeffrey Koetter and Barbara and Jim Koetter on February 5, 1959, in Pocatello, Idaho, where he also grew up. He attended Highland High School, where he played football and was the team’s star quarterback. After leaving Highland High School, he enrolled at Idaho State University where he continued to play the game.
Later, Koetter graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1981 but did not become a professional footballer. It is not clear whether he deliberately did not want to join the NFL or whether he was not good enough to be accepted by any team. Koetter, however, immediately returned to school and earned a master’s degree in Athletic Administration in 1982, and the following year he began his coaching career at his alma mater.
He was the head coach at Highland High School for two years before taking on the role of offensive coordinator at San Francisco State University in 1985. Dirk Koetter held this position for one year before becoming something of a journeyman. From 1986 to 1988 he worked as offensive coordinator, first at the University of El Paso, then from 1989 to 1993 at the University of Missouri. After Missouri, Koetter came to Boston College from 1994 to 1995, before moving to the University of Oregon from 1996 to 1997.
In 1998, and for the first time since the beginning of his coaching career, Koetter, who by then had accomplished much and gained much experience, was appointed head coach of Boise State University. He held this position from 1998 to 2000 before moving to the state of Arizona, where he and his family found some stability for the first time in a long while when he held this position from 2001 to 2006.
NFL Coaching Career
After leaving his position in Arizona, Dirk Koetter took the big step to join the NFL after accepting an offer to become the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He accepted the position in 2007, and his impact was immediately felt as the team set franchise records for total points and won yards as the team set an 11-5 record.
Koetter spent five years with the Jaguars before moving to the Atlanta Falcons, where he served in the same capacity as offensive coordinator. After two years in Atlanta, he moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015. He held the position of offensive coordinator for one year before he was finally offered the position of head coach after his boss was fired. In 2016, his first year coaching the Buccaneers, the team set a 9-7 record and narrowly missed the playoffs. However, the following campaign was a bad one, as his team fell to a 5-11 record.
The highest-paid coaches in the NFL earn around $8 million annually. Even though Dirk Koetter’s salary has not been publicly announced, the head coach of the Buccaneers, who agreed to a five-year contract when he took office in January 2016 after Lovie Smith was fired, still has a long way to go before he is able to raise such enormous sums to count among coaches like Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, and Sean Payton.
Dirk Koetter’s Family and Wife
Dirk Koetter has been married for three decades. He was introduced to his wife Kimberly Ann Koetter in the 1980s by former linebacker coach Marvin Lewis of Idaho State when he was training at Highland High School. Kim, as she is affectionately known by her peers, was a volleyball player at Idaho State at the time. At some point in 1988, the two finally exchanged their vows at a small ceremony in which their matchmaker’s daughter acted as the flower girl.
Together with the couple has four children, two boys, Derek and Davis, and two girls, Kendra and Kaylee Koetter. Because of their work, the couple has lived in various cities throughout the country. However, the three older children now live far away from home, leaving the couple with their youngest child, Davis, who will soon go to Portland State University to play quarterback.
Davis is not the only child of Koetter who is interested in a career in sports. His daughter Kaylee was a star volleyball player for the Tampa women’s volleyball team. After an injury that ended her career, Kaylee took over the job of an assistant coach for the team. She spent two years there before she left the position of head coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The second Koetter child to earn a living in and around sports is Derek, who currently holds the position of Assistant Athletic Communications Director at the University of Tampa. The third child is Kendra, who is currently a volleyball player at the University of North Carolina.