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Lovie Smith to coach Buccaneers next season: report

Chicago Bears v ArizonCardinals

Chicago Bears v Arizona Cardinals

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Updated: January 1, 2014 9:34PM

Lovie Smith is back in the NFL. The former Bears coach was finalizing a deal Wednesday night to become the Buccaneers’ coach, according to multiple reports.

Smith replaces Greg Schiano, who was fired after two tumultuous seasons. Smith also had interviewed with the Texans, and the Lions were said to be interested in interviewing him. The Texans hired former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.

The Bears will host the Buccaneers next season.

After nine seasons with the Bears, Smith was fired after the 2012 season. He had an 81-63 regular-season record with the Bears and reached two NFC title games and one Super Bowl (a 29-17 loss to the Colts on Feb. 4, 2007).

General manager Phil Emery cited the Bears’ inability to make the playoffs in five of Smith’s last six seasons and their struggles on offense as reasons for his dismissal.

Smith was replaced by Marc Trestman, who went 8-8 in 2013 after Smith finished 10-6 a season earlier. Trestman’s offense, though, set team records for passing yards and touchdowns while averaging the second-most points per game in the league.

Smith began his NFL coaching career as the Bucs’ linebackers coach in 1996. He held the position through 2000, then became the Rams’ defensive coordinator. The Bears hired him in 2004.


Twitter: @adamjahns

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