With the recent passing of longtime team doctor Dr. Joe Diaco this week, now there are two names of former long-time employees of the Buccaneers that should be in the ring of honor.
The first name that comes to mind is Jill Hobbs. She worked 44 years for the Buccaneers since the franchise began. She handled the team’s player benefits and was Alumni Program Manager. Sadly, she passed away in January 2021; she was loved by everyone at One Buc. The players and their families loved her. You can ask anyone who played for the Buccaneers or came in contact with her. She was a dedicated employee and vital to the organization. She, without a doubt, deserves to be in the Ring of Honor.
Dr. Joe Diaco had been the team doctor for 33 years. He began with the team in 1976 and became Chief Physician in 1978. Dr. Diaco eventually retired in April 2009. He was very knowledgeable, and in fact, was the one that recognized the signs of Chris Simms having a ruptured spleen. He is the reason Simms made it to the hospital as fast as he did. If Dr. Diaco had not discovered the severity of that injury, Simms, more than likely, would not still be alive today. Dr. Diaco remained close to the Glazers’ Family and the team. For his years of work with the Buccaneers, he deserves to be in the Ring of Honor.
Of course, this is just my opinion. All great players, coaches, and executives do get recognized for their work within the organization and do deservedly have their names on the stadium wall; however, I believe that some employees are just as deserving and should have their names on the wall and the ring as well.