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)

Latest Stories

in Entertainment

HOLIDAY TV: What to watch this week


This week is packed with programs to get you in the holiday spirit.

in Entertainment

Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

FILE - In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Bono arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. A New York City doctor says U2 singer Bono suffered multiple fractures and had to have two surgeries after his weekend bicycle accident. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich says Bono underwent a five-hour surgery on his elbow in which three plates and 18 screws were inserted on Sunday night. Bono had another surgery to repair a fracture to his left pinkie on Monday. Lorich says Bono will need therapy but a full recovery is expected.

Bono is a launching an all-star campaign featuring "once-in-a-lifetime experiences" like walking the red carpet with Meryl Streep or visiting the "Game of Thrones" set.

in Entertainment

WHAT’S ON: New on Netflix, Amazon & Hulu in December


Get your remotes ready for a new round of binge-worthy movies and TV.

in Music

Chris Brown donating album proceeds to charity


The singer is giving a children's hospital a big boost by donating proceeds from his new album "Royalty" to the organization.

in Music

Adele’s ’25’ continues to smash records


British singer Adele's new album sold a record 3.38 million U.S. copies in its first full week, Nielsen Music said, becoming the biggest-selling album of 2015 in an astonishing feat for an era when artists rarely top 1 million.