Transcript: Arians gives tearful goodbye, says 'it's been a great ride'


Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement on Monday during a tearful news conference.

Here’s what the winningest coach in franchise history had to say about his retirement:

Arians: Um … we built this program on three words: trust, loyalty and respect. I told our team last night I was done. I’m retiring. Excuse me (cries), and they lied to you. Because of that, there’s no greater feeling in the world than you know your players have your back. Can’t say enough about our owner. I mean the best owner [Michael Bidwill] I think in the league, by far. He just introduced a young lady to our guys who will handle all alumni benefits, the only team in the league who takes care of their alumni. Building a new field already.

Steve Keim … general manager, who is like a little brother. Great guy. I mean, the way he refilled this roster this year. And to be able to take guys and plug ’em and play ’em, and win three out of the last four is amazing. It’s been a great ride.

I told you before, there will be reasons, family is a big one. I will miss the game. I’ll actually miss you guys. Hell, I might even be on your side, I don’t know. But uh, it’s been a great ride. I can’t thank Michael enough for giving me this opportunity. I can’t thank our coaching staff enough — what they did in the last eight weeks is just absolutely amazing. To go up there and win that game, with guys going down left and right like they have all year, and to finish it off.

I probably didn’t truly know until that kick went through that I was going to retire. I know everybody has speculated, everybody speculated for months. Everybody had a story. You now have the story. Like I said it’s been an unbelievable journey. It started in 1975, and probably one of the hardest things for me this year, was sitting at the lake this summer and Chris said you know Jake’s going to be 40. I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks that I missed all that time.

And that’s coaching. Probably wouldn’t change anything. Just the relationships that you build over the years with players, that never changes. Going to Philly or Washington and having 15 or 20 Temple guys show up that are now in their 50s — how in the hell did you get so old?

That’s really why you do this business. I can’t thank you guys enough. You guys have been great. I know how hard your job is, and hopefully we treated each other with enough respect that we always got it done in the right way. Unlike some people who have all these sources. I hate that word.

Again, nothing really … the tears you see are really tears of joy and peace. I’ll miss the players. I’ll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem because it still gets me. But somehow, some way I’m going to still be in touch with the game. I’m not leaving the Valley. I’m very proud of our foundation. And the work we’re doing to help the children in this valley, and that will never stop.

And hopefully I can count on your guys’ support when we try to help these kids because that’s more important than football. I know our fans don’t want to hear it, but the kids that we have helped in this valley in the last five years means way more to me than wins and losses.

I encourage all of you because I know one of you has become a CASA (court appointed special advocate), and try it. I think I’m going to be one. That’s one of the things, I’m going to hopefully, I don’t know if I’m strong enough to be one because I’ll probably try to take things into my own hands.

Again, thank you. There’s so many reasons for the decision, but family is the one.

Thank you.

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