A year after being fired by the Chicago Bears, Lovie Smith is back as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who parted ways with Greg Schiano after two losing seasons.
Smith signed a four-year deal with the Bucs that includes a team option for a fifth season. He’s expected to make around $5 million a season, but will also enjoy a lot of freedom and power after the Bucs also fired general manager Mark Dominik, which means Smith will have control of his coaching staff and a huge voice in personnel.
He’s brining with him quite a few changes to the coaching staff: Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford will be his offensive coordinator, and his defensive coordinator will either be Rod Marinelli or the recently fired Leslie Frazier.
Smith was the linebackers coach for the Buccaneers between 1996 and 2000, working under Tony Dungy. He was the head coach of the Chicago Bears for nine seasons, making the postseason three times and the Super Bowl once. He posted a 81-63 record as the head coach of the Bears, leaving his post after going 10-6 in 2012, not enough to make the playoffs.
Despite high expectations and big signings, the Bucs never managed to achieve lift off in the last couple of years. After a reasonable 7-9 first season with the Bucs, things fell apart in 2013. Schiano let go of his starting quarterback, not before he allegadly leaked information about Freeman’s presence in the NFL’s substance-abuse program due to a prescription for Adderall. Schiano denied the allegation. In any case, after a 4-12 season, he was fired along with his GM.