Cardinals choose Arians as next coach

The NFL's final head coaching vacancy has been filled as the Arizona Cardinals have chosen Bruce Arians as their next coach.

The deal is for four years with a team option for a fifth.

"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Arians stated at a press conference on Friday. "I'd like to thank the Bidwell family, Mr. Bidwell, Michael, for this unbelievable opportunity."

Arians will replace Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired on Dec. 31 after recording his second losing season in three years.

This will be Arians' second time succeeding Whisenhunt as he also replaced him as the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator when Whisenhunt left to become the Cardinals' head coach in 2007.

The 60-year-old Arians remained in Pittsburgh for five years before leaving to take over as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts this past season. He led the team to a 9-3 record as the interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia.

While with the Steelers, Arians led an offense in 2009 that included a 4,000- yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season for the first time in franchise history. That team also set franchise records for passing first downs (210) and completed passes (351).

Arians has 20 years of experience as an NFL assistant, but his only other head coaching experience came at the college level when he guided Temple from 1983-88.

The Owls had a 21-45 overall record under Arians and finished with a winning record just twice in his six seasons.

"I'm grateful to all the coaches and players I've come in contact with over the last 37 years because relationship building is what coaching is," an emotional Arians remarked.