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

in National

Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor, dead at 71

Fresh
menino

The longest-serving mayor in Boston history who led the city after the 2013 marathon bombing, has died.

in Entertainment, Sports

The best #ChevyGuy tweets from the World Series

bumgarner1

World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner was awarded a new truck with "technology and stuff" by a very nervous Chevy employee and Twitter took notice.

in National

U.S. economy grows 3.5% in third quarter

shopping

A smaller trade deficit and a surge in defense spending buoyed U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.

in Sports

NFL seeks to dismiss ex-players’ painkillers suit

nfl

The lawsuit, filed by former players, alleges teams gave them powerful painkillers to keep them on the playing field.

in Sports

Thursday’s Sports Minute

giants

Here is a look at some of the biggest headlines in sports today, Thursday, Oct. 30.