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Lovie Smith
Head Coach

Biography

Named the 10th head coach in franchise history on January 2, 2014, Lovie Smith enters his first season at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

Smith joins the Buccaneers after having spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. During his tenure, Smith led Chicago to an 81-63 (.563) regular season record, while going 3-3 in the postseason. He led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC Championship game appearances and the 2006 NFC title, which propelled Chicago to its first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years. Smith’s hiring marks his second stint with Tampa Bay, with his first NFL coaching job coming as a member of former head coach Tony Dungy’s staff (1996-2000).

Smith left Chicago ranked third all-time in coaching victories, behind only Hall of Famers George Halas and Mike Ditka.

Under Smith’s guidance, the Chicago defense led the NFL in takeaways (310), three-and-out drives forced (485), three-and-out drive percentage (26.4%), third down percentage (34.1%) and red zone scoring efficiency (79.3%). Chicago ranked second in the league in opponent yards per pass attempt (6.52) and red zone takeaways (37), third in opponent passer rating (76.0), fourth in scoring defense (19.2 points per game) and seventh in rushing average (4.0).

The Bears defense was one of the best in the NFL at turning their turnovers into points, returning 34 of their 310 takeaways for touchdowns, including 26 interceptions returned for scores, tied for the most in the NFL during that time.

Chicago’s 303 total touchdowns allowed during Smith’s tenure were the third-fewest in the NFL. The Bears gave up the fewest points in the NFC during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, including leading the league in Smith’s second season.

While the team was known for its defensive successes, Chicago also had some of its best offensive performances under Smith. The 2006 Bears scored 427 points, the third-most in franchise history. In 2009, QB Jay Cutler set franchise records for completions and attempts, while recording the second-most passing yards in team history. Cutler became the first quarterback in franchise history to post consecutive 3,000-yard seasons, while also becoming the first Bears QB to have back-to-back seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes. In the same season, RB Matt Forte became just the second player in franchise history (along with Walter Payton) to have 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season. Forte became the first player in NFL history with at least 900 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons. In Smith’s final season as head coach, the team had a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver for the second time in franchise history – including WR Brandon Marshall’s franchise records for receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,508).

Chicago found consistency under the even-keeled hand of Smith’s direction, fashioning four double-digit win seasons, five winning seasons and six seasons with a record of .500 or better. The Bears had a regular season home record of 45-27 (.625) from 2004-12 while going 36-36 (.500) on the road during that time. The Bears won five or more games at home seven times in a single year during Smith’s tenure. Chicago was 5-3 at home from 2009-12, 6-2 in 2006 and 2008 and 7-1 in the Windy City during 2005. Chicago was 7-1 on the road in 2006, tied with 1985 and 1986 for the team’s best single-season road record since the inception of the 16-game schedule. The Bears were 8-16 (.333) on the road in the three years prior to Smith’s arrival. By leading Chicago to records of 11-5 in 2005 and 2010 and 13-3 in 2006, Smith guided the Bears to three of their top eight seasons in terms of regular season victories during the era of the 16-game schedule.

Smith returned Chicago to its preferred place as a power in the NFC North, fashioning a divisional record of 32-22 (.593) during his time with the Bears including three division titles (2005, 2006 and 2010). Smith led Chicago to 5-1 intra-divisional records in each of the 2005, 2006 and 2010 campaigns, defeating all three opponents at least once in each of those seasons, a feat last accomplished by the Bears in 1991. Chicago began the 2006 season with three consecutive wins over divisional opponents for the first time in team history. The Bears also won their first 11 games against NFC opponents in 2006 en route to the second-best intra-conference mark in franchise history.

Registering a career-high 13 wins in 2006, Smith led Chicago to home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs and the team’s first NFC Championship since its Super Bowl season of 1985. That gave Chicago 24 regular season wins since 2005, the fourth-highest two-season win total in the 87-season history of the franchise. Smith guided the team to wins in its first seven contests in 2006 to register the fourth-best start to a season in team history while allowing the Bears to join Green Bay and Minnesota as the only teams in NFL history to begin four different seasons with 7-0 records. Chicago’s seven consecutive wins to start the season allowed Smith to record the league’s third-longest win streak for the second consecutive season. With division titles in 2005 and 2006, Smith joined Ditka as the only coaches in team history to lead the team to consecutive division titles. He was the first coach in team history to lead the Bears to the playoffs in two of his first three seasons.

Smith was named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year for 2005 after leading the Bears to a division title in the shortest amount of time in team history, doing so in his second campaign while setting a franchise record for victories by a sophomore head coach with an 11-5 record. Smith - who won with 24.5 of 50 possible votes - was the fourth head coach in team history to win the award after team founder George S. Halas in 1963 and 1965, Mike Ditka in 1985 and 1988 and Dick Jauron in 2001. Just the third coach in team history to lead the organization to the playoffs in his second season, Smith guided the Bears to their first-ever NFC North division title in 2005. En route to the team’s division championship that season, the Bears completed their first season sweep of Green Bay since 1991, a feat they repeated in 2007.

Winning just one of their first four games to start the 2005 campaign, Smith rallied the Bears to become just the 20th NFL team to qualify for the postseason after beginning the season 1-3 since the current 12-team playoff system was instituted in 1990. The Bears turned their season around as Smith guided the team to eight consecutive mid-season wins, the third-longest win streak in the NFL in 2005 and the longest by Chicago since the 1985 Super Bowl championship team won 12 straight to begin the season. In guiding the team to the No. 2 seed in the NFC Playoffs, Smith led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North division as the Bears’ six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL in 2005.

The Bears posted a 5-11 record in 2004 during Smith’s first season as head coach as he presided over the youngest team in the NFL while battling through a spate of injuries that robbed the team of the services of several of its most productive players.

Smith came to Chicago with the reputation for being proficient at instituting positive change after he engineered a dramatic turnaround as the defensive coordinator of the Rams from 2001 through 2003. Known for his acumen in teaching and motivating young talent, Smith took on the added responsibility of assistant head coach with the Rams prior to the 2003 season. In Smith’s first season as an NFL defensive coordinator with St. Louis in 2001, Smith helped the Rams return to the Super Bowl after missing the playoffs the previous season as his defense allowed fewer points and total yards per game than the previous year. Smith coached on playoff teams in four of his last five campaigns as an assistant and has done so in eight of his 17 NFL seasons overall.

From 2001-03, the Rams ranked third in the NFL in takeaways and fumble recoveries, tied for sixth in sacks, and tied for eighth in interceptions. Smith helped steward St. Louis to shutouts in both 2001 and 2003, the first white-washings by the Rams organization since 1994. St. Louis won 33 games during Smith’s tenure with the team, the third-most in the NFL during that time behind Green Bay and Philadelphia. He capped his stint in St. Louis by orchestrating a unit that ranked among the league leaders in takeaways, defensive touchdowns, and sacks in 2003. In that year, St. Louis led the NFL with 46 takeaways while tying for fourth with 24 interceptions and leading the NFL with 22 fumble recoveries. That season’s takeaway total is tied with the 1999 Eagles and 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers for the third-highest single-season total in the NFL since 1993. St. Louis ranked fourth in the NFL by scoring five defensive touchdowns in 2003 and also posted the fourth-most sacks in the NFL. In 2002, the Rams defense finished tied for fourth in the NFC and tied for fifth in the NFL in fewest touchdowns allowed while ranking sixth in the NFC and eighth in the NFL in third-down efficiency.

Smith guided St. Louis to a defensive resurgence upon taking over in 2001. Inheriting a defense coming off a season in which it ranked 23rd in the NFL in total defense while allowing over 29 points per game, Smith improved the unit to third in the NFL in total defense while permitting only 17.0 points per game. The St. Louis defense made one-year leaps to third from 13th in the NFL in run defense and 10th from 27th in pass defense while improving to a conference-high 14 wins from 10 in 2000. The Rams scored five defensive touchdowns in 2001 while starting seven new players on defense, including two rookies.

Preceding his success in St. Louis, Smith contributed to the revival of Tampa Bay’s defense as the Buccaneers linebacker coach from 1996-2000. Tampa’s defense hadn’t ranked above 20th in the NFL in the four seasons prior to Smith’s arrival under head coach Tony Dungy, but had ranks of 11th in 1996, third in 1997, second in 1998, third in 1999, and ninth in 2000. During the five seasons with Smith on the Bucs staff, the team allowed less than 300 points each year while permitting an average of 16.9 points and 258.8 yards per game.

Smith’s tutelage has brought out the best in his players throughout his career. As linebackers coach at Tampa Bay, Smith helped Derrick Brooks develop into a perennial Pro Bowl selection and one of the NFL’s all-time greatest linebackers. Brooks made the first Pro Bowl of his team-record 11 career Pro Bowl appearances in his second season – Smith’s first season as his position coach. Also in 1996, Smith helped Hardy Nickerson earn his second career Pro Bowl nod. Brooks and Nickerson made a combined eight all-star appearances under Smith.

Overall, Smith has spent 30 years in coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. He began his coaching career at his hometown high school, Big Sandy High School (Texas), in 1980 before moving to Cascia Hall Prep in Tulsa, Okla. the following year. Two years later, Smith made the jump to the college ranks at his alma mater, Tulsa, as linebackers coach, where he stayed through 1986. Smith moved on to coach linebackers at Wisconsin (1987), Arizona State (1988-91), and Kentucky (1992). Smith was the defensive backs coach at Tennessee (1993-94) and Ohio State (1995).

A native of Big Sandy, Texas, Smith led the Big Sandy Wildcats to three consecutive state championships in high school and was all-state three years as an end and linebacker. Smith was a two-time All-America and three-time All-Missouri Conference defensive back at the University of Tulsa.

Lovie and his wife, MaryAnne, are the proud parents of three sons: Mikal, married to Kristen; Matthew, married to Kathleen; and Miles.

Lovie is very active in charity work as he and his wife have started the Lovie and MaryAnne Smith Foundation (LAMAS) which helps worthy young people further their education, with the simple motto, “We start it - You finish it.”

SMITH’S PRO HEAD COACHING CAREER

Year        Team                  W       L       T        Pct.               Playoffs

2004        Chicago               5      11       0        .313

2005        Chicago              11       5       0        .688                   0-1

2006        Chicago              13       3       0        .813                   2-1

2007        Chicago               7       9       0        .438                    

2008        Chicago               9       7       0        .563                    

2009        Chicago               7       9       0        .438

2010        Chicago              11       5       0        .688                   1-1

2011        Chicago               8       8       0        .500                    

2012        Chicago              10       6       0        .625                    

TOTALS                             81      63       0        .563                   3-3

 

SMITH AT A GLANCE

YEARS                                                                                                  HEAD COACH

1976-79           Tulsa, player                                                                  John Cooper

1980                 Big Sandy High School, Defensive Coordinator                 

1981-82            Casicia Hall Prep, Assistant Coach

1983-86            Tulsa, Linebackers Coach                                             John Cooper, Don Morton

1987                 Wisconsin, Linebackers Coach                                      Don Morton

1988-91            Arizona State, Linebackers Coach                                 Larry Marmie

1992                 Kentucky, Linebackers Coach                                        Bill Curry

1993-94            Tennessee, Defensive Backs Coach                              Phillip Fulmer

1995                 Ohio State, Defensive Backs Coach                               John Cooper

1996-2000         Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Linebackers Coach                Tony Dungy

2001-03             St. Louis Rams, Defensive Coordinator                         Mike Martz

2004-12             Chicago Bears, Head Coach                                           

2014-                Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Head Coach                              

                                         

Named the 10th head coach in franchise history on January 2, 2014, Lovie Smith enters his first season at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

Smith joins the Buccaneers after having spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. During his tenure, Smith led Chicago to an 81-63 (.563) regular season record, while going 3-3 in the postseason. He led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC Championship game appearances and the 2006 NFC title, which propelled Chicago to its first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years. Smith’s hiring marks his second stint with Tampa Bay, with his first NFL coaching job coming as a member of former head coach Tony Dungy’s staff (1996-2000).

Smith left Chicago ranked third all-time in coaching victories, behind only Hall of Famers George Halas and Mike Ditka.

Under Smith’s guidance, the Chicago defense led the NFL in takeaways (310), three-and-out drives forced (485), three-and-out drive percentage (26.4%), third down percentage (34.1%) and red zone scoring efficiency (79.3%). Chicago ranked second in the league in opponent yards per pass attempt (6.52) and red zone takeaways (37), third in opponent passer rating (76.0), fourth in scoring defense (19.2 points per game) and seventh in rushing average (4.0).

The Bears defense was one of the best in the NFL at turning their turnovers into points, returning 34 of their 310 takeaways for touchdowns, including 26 interceptions returned for scores, tied for the most in the NFL during that time.

Chicago’s 303 total touchdowns allowed during Smith’s tenure were the third-fewest in the NFL. The Bears gave up the fewest points in the NFC during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, including leading the league in Smith’s second season.

While the team was known for its defensive successes, Chicago also had some of its best offensive performances under Smith. The 2006 Bears scored 427 points, the third-most in franchise history. In 2009, QB Jay Cutler set franchise records for completions and attempts, while recording the second-most passing yards in team history. Cutler became the first quarterback in franchise history to post consecutive 3,000-yard seasons, while also becoming the first Bears QB to have back-to-back seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes. In the same season, RB Matt Forte became just the second player in franchise history (along with Walter Payton) to have 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season. Forte became the first player in NFL history with at least 900 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons. In Smith’s final season as head coach, the team had a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver for the second time in franchise history – including WR Brandon Marshall’s franchise records for receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,508).

Chicago found consistency under the even-keeled hand of Smith’s direction, fashioning four double-digit win seasons, five winning seasons and six seasons with a record of .500 or better. The Bears had a regular season home record of 45-27 (.625) from 2004-12 while going 36-36 (.500) on the road during that time. The Bears won five or more games at home seven times in a single year during Smith’s tenure. Chicago was 5-3 at home from 2009-12, 6-2 in 2006 and 2008 and 7-1 in the Windy City during 2005. Chicago was 7-1 on the road in 2006, tied with 1985 and 1986 for the team’s best single-season road record since the inception of the 16-game schedule. The Bears were 8-16 (.333) on the road in the three years prior to Smith’s arrival. By leading Chicago to records of 11-5 in 2005 and 2010 and 13-3 in 2006, Smith guided the Bears to three of their top eight seasons in terms of regular season victories during the era of the 16-game schedule.

Smith returned Chicago to its preferred place as a power in the NFC North, fashioning a divisional record of 32-22 (.593) during his time with the Bears including three division titles (2005, 2006 and 2010). Smith led Chicago to 5-1 intra-divisional records in each of the 2005, 2006 and 2010 campaigns, defeating all three opponents at least once in each of those seasons, a feat last accomplished by the Bears in 1991. Chicago began the 2006 season with three consecutive wins over divisional opponents for the first time in team history. The Bears also won their first 11 games against NFC opponents in 2006 en route to the second-best intra-conference mark in franchise history.

Registering a career-high 13 wins in 2006, Smith led Chicago to home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs and the team’s first NFC Championship since its Super Bowl season of 1985. That gave Chicago 24 regular season wins since 2005, the fourth-highest two-season win total in the 87-season history of the franchise. Smith guided the team to wins in its first seven contests in 2006 to register the fourth-best start to a season in team history while allowing the Bears to join Green Bay and Minnesota as the only teams in NFL history to begin four different seasons with 7-0 records. Chicago’s seven consecutive wins to start the season allowed Smith to record the league’s third-longest win streak for the second consecutive season. With division titles in 2005 and 2006, Smith joined Ditka as the only coaches in team history to lead the team to consecutive division titles. He was the first coach in team history to lead the Bears to the playoffs in two of his first three seasons.

Smith was named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year for 2005 after leading the Bears to a division title in the shortest amount of time in team history, doing so in his second campaign while setting a franchise record for victories by a sophomore head coach with an 11-5 record. Smith - who won with 24.5 of 50 possible votes - was the fourth head coach in team history to win the award after team founder George S. Halas in 1963 and 1965, Mike Ditka in 1985 and 1988 and Dick Jauron in 2001. Just the third coach in team history to lead the organization to the playoffs in his second season, Smith guided the Bears to their first-ever NFC North division title in 2005. En route to the team’s division championship that season, the Bears completed their first season sweep of Green Bay since 1991, a feat they repeated in 2007.

Winning just one of their first four games to start the 2005 campaign, Smith rallied the Bears to become just the 20th NFL team to qualify for the postseason after beginning the season 1-3 since the current 12-team playoff system was instituted in 1990. The Bears turned their season around as Smith guided the team to eight consecutive mid-season wins, the third-longest win streak in the NFL in 2005 and the longest by Chicago since the 1985 Super Bowl championship team won 12 straight to begin the season. In guiding the team to the No. 2 seed in the NFC Playoffs, Smith led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North division as the Bears’ six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL in 2005.

The Bears posted a 5-11 record in 2004 during Smith’s first season as head coach as he presided over the youngest team in the NFL while battling through a spate of injuries that robbed the team of the services of several of its most productive players.

Smith came to Chicago with the reputation for being proficient at instituting positive change after he engineered a dramatic turnaround as the defensive coordinator of the Rams from 2001 through 2003. Known for his acumen in teaching and motivating young talent, Smith took on the added responsibility of assistant head coach with the Rams prior to the 2003 season. In Smith’s first season as an NFL defensive coordinator with St. Louis in 2001, Smith helped the Rams return to the Super Bowl after missing the playoffs the previous season as his defense allowed fewer points and total yards per game than the previous year. Smith coached on playoff teams in four of his last five campaigns as an assistant and has done so in eight of his 17 NFL seasons overall.

From 2001-03, the Rams ranked third in the NFL in takeaways and fumble recoveries, tied for sixth in sacks, and tied for eighth in interceptions. Smith helped steward St. Louis to shutouts in both 2001 and 2003, the first white-washings by the Rams organization since 1994. St. Louis won 33 games during Smith’s tenure with the team, the third-most in the NFL during that time behind Green Bay and Philadelphia. He capped his stint in St. Louis by orchestrating a unit that ranked among the league leaders in takeaways, defensive touchdowns, and sacks in 2003. In that year, St. Louis led the NFL with 46 takeaways while tying for fourth with 24 interceptions and leading the NFL with 22 fumble recoveries. That season’s takeaway total is tied with the 1999 Eagles and 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers for the third-highest single-season total in the NFL since 1993. St. Louis ranked fourth in the NFL by scoring five defensive touchdowns in 2003 and also posted the fourth-most sacks in the NFL. In 2002, the Rams defense finished tied for fourth in the NFC and tied for fifth in the NFL in fewest touchdowns allowed while ranking sixth in the NFC and eighth in the NFL in third-down efficiency.

Smith guided St. Louis to a defensive resurgence upon taking over in 2001. Inheriting a defense coming off a season in which it ranked 23rd in the NFL in total defense while allowing over 29 points per game, Smith improved the unit to third in the NFL in total defense while permitting only 17.0 points per game. The St. Louis defense made one-year leaps to third from 13th in the NFL in run defense and 10th from 27th in pass defense while improving to a conference-high 14 wins from 10 in 2000. The Rams scored five defensive touchdowns in 2001 while starting seven new players on defense, including two rookies.

Preceding his success in St. Louis, Smith contributed to the revival of Tampa Bay’s defense as the Buccaneers linebacker coach from 1996-2000. Tampa’s defense hadn’t ranked above 20th in the NFL in the four seasons prior to Smith’s arrival under head coach Tony Dungy, but had ranks of 11th in 1996, third in 1997, second in 1998, third in 1999, and ninth in 2000. During the five seasons with Smith on the Bucs staff, the team allowed less than 300 points each year while permitting an average of 16.9 points and 258.8 yards per game.

Smith’s tutelage has brought out the best in his players throughout his career. As linebackers coach at Tampa Bay, Smith helped Derrick Brooks develop into a perennial Pro Bowl selection and one of the NFL’s all-time greatest linebackers. Brooks made the first Pro Bowl of his team-record 11 career Pro Bowl appearances in his second season – Smith’s first season as his position coach. Also in 1996, Smith helped Hardy Nickerson earn his second career Pro Bowl nod. Brooks and Nickerson made a combined eight all-star appearances under Smith.

Overall, Smith has spent 30 years in coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. He began his coaching career at his hometown high school, Big Sandy High School (Texas), in 1980 before moving to Cascia Hall Prep in Tulsa, Okla. the following year. Two years later, Smith made the jump to the college ranks at his alma mater, Tulsa, as linebackers coach, where he stayed through 1986. Smith moved on to coach linebackers at Wisconsin (1987), Arizona State (1988-91), and Kentucky (1992). Smith was the defensive backs coach at Tennessee (1993-94) and Ohio State (1995).

A native of Big Sandy, Texas, Smith led the Big Sandy Wildcats to three consecutive state championships in high school and was all-state three years as an end and linebacker. Smith was a two-time All-America and three-time All-Missouri Conference defensive back at the University of Tulsa.

Lovie and his wife, MaryAnne, are the proud parents of three sons: Mikal, married to Kristen; Matthew, married to Kathleen; and Miles.

Lovie is very active in charity work as he and his wife have started the Lovie and MaryAnne Smith Foundation (LAMAS) which helps worthy young people further their education, with the simple motto, “We start it - You finish it.”

SMITH’S PRO HEAD COACHING CAREER

Year        Team                  W       L       T        Pct.               Playoffs

2004        Chicago               5      11       0        .313

2005        Chicago              11       5       0        .688                   0-1

2006        Chicago              13       3       0        .813                   2-1

2007        Chicago               7       9       0        .438                    

2008        Chicago               9       7       0        .563                    

2009        Chicago               7       9       0        .438

2010        Chicago              11       5       0        .688                   1-1

2011        Chicago               8       8       0        .500                    

2012        Chicago              10       6       0        .625                    

TOTALS                             81      63       0        .563                   3-3

 

SMITH AT A GLANCE

YEARS                                                                                                  HEAD COACH

1976-79           Tulsa, player                                                                  John Cooper

1980                 Big Sandy High School, Defensive Coordinator                 

1981-82            Casicia Hall Prep, Assistant Coach

1983-86            Tulsa, Linebackers Coach                                             John Cooper, Don Morton

1987                 Wisconsin, Linebackers Coach                                      Don Morton

1988-91            Arizona State, Linebackers Coach                                 Larry Marmie

1992                 Kentucky, Linebackers Coach                                        Bill Curry

1993-94            Tennessee, Defensive Backs Coach                              Phillip Fulmer

1995                 Ohio State, Defensive Backs Coach                               John Cooper

1996-2000         Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Linebackers Coach                Tony Dungy

2001-03             St. Louis Rams, Defensive Coordinator                         Mike Martz

2004-12             Chicago Bears, Head Coach                                           

2014-                Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Head Coach                              

                                         

 

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