Egan grad Keith Armstrong coaching Bucs special teams in Super Bowl

Joe Mason
Bucks County Courier Times

If you need a rooting interest in this year's Super Bowl and you're not a fan of Tom Brady or Pat Mahomes, we have one for you. Pull for Keith Armstrong.

Armstrong, a 1982 graduate of Bishop Egan, is the special teams coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will meet Kansas City on Feb. 7 in the championship game at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers will be the first NFL team to play for the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

Keith Armstrong, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams coordinator, is a graduate of Bishop Egan. Photo: NFL COMMUNICATIONS

Armstrong has been a success in football going back to his playing days at Egan in Bristol Township, when he led the Eagles to an 8-4 record. According to Tedsilary.com, the All-Catholic tailback rushed for 1,131 yards and seven touchdowns, as he led Egan to the Catholic League semifinals.

He found more success at Temple, where he played running back for a season before switching to defensive back. With the Owls, he played under Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, a native of York.

As much as he did on the field, he's been even better on the sidelines.

He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Temple, then coached at Miami in 1988, Akron in 1989, Oklahoma State from 1990 to 1992 and then at Notre Dame in 1993.

FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2016 file photo, Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, left, confers with head coach Dan Quinn before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The Atlanta Falcons have fired Armstrong, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel. The firings came one day after the end of the team’s first losing season since 2014. Falcons owner Arthur Blank recently had said he still has confidence in Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, but changes came as expected after a 7-9 finish. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

After that, he moved on to the NFL when he became the Atlanta Falcons safeties coach in 1994 and was then promoted to the secondary coach in 1996. He then spent four years in Chicago, and then became the special teams coordinator for the Miami Dolphins from 2001 to 2007, where his units excelled.

Then he went back to Atlanta as the special teams coordinator, and spent 10 years with the Falcons. During that time, the Falcons had one of the best special teams in the NFL. His unit helped the Falcons make the Super Bowl in 2017, but he lost to Brady and the New England Patriots.

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This is the second year Armstrong has been with the Buccaneers, and as always, he's done a fine job with special teams. Under his tutelage, kicker Ryan Succup became one of the top kickers in the game, and the punt and kickoff units have been steady, and at times, spectacular.

According to Arians, Armstrong has always been the kind of guy he wants on his team.

"The first game, he was the starting running back," Arians said of Armstrong during an interview with ESPN.com. "The second game, he was the starting tight end. The third game, he was the starting outside linebacker and the captain of the special teams.

"He wasn’t afraid to speak up, even as a young player. We were playing someone and he jumped up and got in everyone’s face and was like, 'We’ve got to win this one!'"

Now, he only needs one win for a ring.

Led by Brady, the Buccaneers rebounded from a 7-9 season last year to finish 11-5. They have won three road games, over Washington, New Orleans and Green Bay to advance to the Super Bowl.