News

Lovie Smith takes over as Buccaneers head coach

Lovie Smith takes over as Buccaneers head coach

NEW COACH: Lovie Smith, who led the Bears for nine seasons, will take over at Tampa Bay. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has taken over as head coach of the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a five-year contract, the National Football League (NFL) team announced on Thursday.

Smith, who was linebackers coach at Tampa Bay from 1996 to 2000 as part of Tony Dungy’s initial staff, replaces Greg Schiano, who was fired by the club on Monday after two mediocre seasons in charge.

“Today is an exciting day for the Buccaneer organization, and the entire Tampa Bay community, as we welcome back Lovie Smith,” Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement.

“We knew from the start of our search that he was the ideal man to lead our team into a new era of Buccaneer football. Lovie is an accomplished and very well-respected head coach who has enjoyed success at every level of his 30-year career.”

Smith, 55, was 81-63 after nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to three division titles and the Super Bowl in 2006 when they were beaten by the Indianapolis Colts. Under his guidance, the Bears defense ranked among the best in the NFL,

He was sacked by Chicago in December 2012 after the team ended the season with a 10-6 record but missed the playoffs for a fifth time in six years.

Smith will take over a Buccaneers franchise in urgent need of a re-build after finishing a lowly 15th in the 16-team National Football Conference last year.

In a bid to wipe the slate clean, Tampa Bay dropped Schiano as coach on Monday and also ditched general manager Mark Dominik.

“The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction,” Glazer said.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: May 6

Fresh
georgeclooney535004513551

A look at some of the entertainment headlines that made history.

14 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Oregon Trail,’ ‘Sonic’ join World Video Game Hall of Fame

videogamehall2016AP

Last year, "Super Mario Bros." and "Pong" were among the first inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The class of 2016 is just as strong.

15 hours ago in Local

City To Host Public Input Session For 6th Avenue Plaza Project

corn palace

The session will be held next Thursday, May 12th.