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Buccaneers Officially Hire Lovie Smith, Give Him A Five-Year Deal

“Today is an exciting day for the Buccaneer organization, and the entire Tampa Bay community, as we welcome back Lovie Smith. 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,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer.

The Buccaneers announced that they signed Lovie Smith to a five-year deal that includes a team option after the fourth year.


Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports that the Buccaneers are finalizing a contract with Lovie Smith to be their next head coach.

  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that a deal has been in the works “for days” with the two sides reaching a deal Wednesday evening.
    • Schefter adds that the terms of Smith’s contract aren’t known at this time, but Smith is expected to make in excess of $5 million a year.
  • Jarrett Bell (per Tom Pelissero) is reporting that Smith will receive a four-year deal from the Buccaneers.
  • The Detroit Lions were trying to get an interview setup with Smith, which may have helped the negotiations along.

There have been a number of rumors relating to other coaches and front office executives who could join Smith in Tampa Bay.

  • ESPN’s John Clayton (via Brett McMurphy) is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hire former University of California HC Jeff Tedford to be their offensive coordinator.
  • Pat Yasinikas of is “hearing” that Lovie Smith is targeting Cowboys OL coach Rod Marinelli, not Leslie Frazier to be the Buccaneers defensive coordinator. (Update: 10:09)
  • Jason La Canfora reported earlier in the day that former Vikings HC Leslie Frazier could join Smith as his defensive coordinator with either team.
  • Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that there has been “a lot of talk” regarding the Bucs possibly hiring GM Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell as well as Smith.
    • Rapoport adds that Redskins personnel director Morocco Brown could also be a target.
  • Adam Caplan reports that speculation in league circles is that Smith wants to bring Chiefs personnel director Chris Ballard along with him.

Since Tampa Bay parted ways with Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik, all reports have indicated that Smith was likely to get the job.

Smith spent time as the Buccaneers LB coach from 1996-2000, so he does have ties to the organization and is reportedly held in high regard by the Glazer family. The Buccaneers are looking for a more stable situation with regards to their leadership and Smith has done a great job of keeping his players on the same page.

During his time with the Chicago Bears, Smith posted a record of 84-66 (56%), which included three NFC North titles and a Super Bowl appearance in 2007.

We’ll have more as the news is available.

  • Don Merkle

    DON’T SEE FAILURE FROM LOVIE 3 DIVISION SITLES AND A SUPER BOWL TEAM…10-6 LAST YR WITH BEARS. See no failure..Needs better offensive teams YES !! Bears this year 8-8 with poor ‘D’ ! Like Baseballs World Series: not that easy to attain .Clue up 18-18. Raw deal by a lot of fans and ComcastSportsnet Kaplan and other Media ! donWsox

  • 18_18

    Why do the wealthy successful NFL owners hire men who were failures in their other jobs? And pay them $5m per year?

    • Carl Crozier

      During his time with the Chicago Bears, Smith posted a record of 84-66 (56%) I would never say Smith was a failure. He got a raw deal in Chicago.

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