Bucs losing original employee

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
2:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Very quietly, a man who has been with the Buccaneers since their start, is leaving the franchise.

The team announced Tuesday that team physician Dr. Joe Diaco will retire this week after 33 seasons. Diaco has worked with the Bucs since 1976 and has been their chief physician since 1978.

"Dr. Diaco has been an important fixture in this organization since its inception, and he will be missed," general manager Mark Dominik said. "We are truly indebted to him for his tireless dedication over the last 33 years, and wish him all the best in retirement."

Diaco may not have been very visible to fans, but he was very much a part of this franchise. Around the league, a lot of team doctors may stop by practice once in a while and show up on game day. But Diaco was a very hands-on doctor and showed up for many of Tampa Bay's practices.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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