Tom Bass is a retired American football coach who spent 30 years as an assistant with the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and San Diego Chargers. He played at San Jose State University as a lineman until a bout of polio left him unable to play football. He then served as an undergraduate coach, and upon graduation, as an assistant under Don Coryell. He later worked on the Chargers staff with Sid Gillman, the Bengals staff with Paul Brown, and the Buccaneers staff under John McKay. He joined the Buccaneers in their inaugural season as their director of pro scouting, and unofficially took over the offensive coordinator role when John Rauch resigned. By the next season, he had become the team's defensive coordinator. He is credited with designing the Tampa Bay defense that ranked at or near the top of the league from 1978-1981. He left Tampa Bay before the 1982 NFL season to join the Chargers, tasked with improving their league-last pass defense. He was also noted for teaching clinics to help female fans understand the game of football, and for having written two volumes of poetry.[1][2][3] He has published several books of football drills and instructional techniques.[4]


  1. Vecsey, George. "Sports of the Times: Tom Bass: Poet and Coach". The New York Times. 4 Sep 1983
  2. Magee, Jerry. "Bass recalls Bucs' lean times". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 18 Dec 2007
  3. Zier, Patrick. "Bass was big fish in Buccaneers' pond". The Lakeland Ledger. 1 Mar 1982
  4. [1] Bio at Accessed 1 Mar 2010
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Chuck Weber
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