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After a big 26-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks on New Year’s Eve to close out the season, Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians broke some even bigger news to his players in the locker room—he was retiring.

“I can’t thank you enough,” the 65-year-old said as his players listened INTENTLY. “It’s been my…pleasure to be your coach. I was going to wait till tomorrow—that’s my last game. I love all of you, every single one. And, man, I’m gonna miss... you. Thank you guys!” Arians took a few steps away from the players and took off his glasses to dry the tears from his eyes.

This was the team’s 49th win in just five seasons under Coach Arians. He leaves as the winningest Cardinals coach in franchise history. But this season was marred by injuries, which knocked out quarterback Carson Palmer and star running back David Johnson for the rest of the season. Still, the Cardinals scrapped and improvised to end with an even 8-8 record.

Amazingly, this ends 40 seasons of coaching for Arians. Arizona was his first permanent head coaching position in the NFL.

In the summer of 2015, Arians welcomed Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason, making her the first woman to coach in the NFL!

A day after Arians announced his retirement to the media, Cardinals fans got more disappointing news when Palmer released his retirement letter.

The elite quarterback turned 38 this year. “I’ve had teammates who decided to hang it up and I would ask them how they knew when it was time to walk away. The answer was almost always the same: You just know,” Palmer wrote. “For me, the time is now. …I just know.”

Injured for two of his five seasons as the Cardinals starting quarterback, he finishes with 16,782 passing yards for the team and 106 touchdowns and an equal number of interceptions. In his 15 years as an NFL quarterback, Palmer threw for an amazing 46,247 yards—that’s 26.28 miles!

January 2018