Lovie Smith

Lovie Lee Smith (born May 8, 1958) is an American football coach. He is the head football coach at the University of Illinois. He was previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 2004 to 2012, and the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014 to 2015. Smith has been to the Super Bowl twice, as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams and as the head coach for the Bears in 2006.

Lovie Smith
Photograph of Smith wearing a Bears pullover jacket, Bears baseball cap and headset on the Bears sideline
Smith with the Chicago Bears in November 2009
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamIllinois
ConferenceBig Ten
Record9–27
Annual salary$5 million
Biographical details
BornMay 8, 1958 (age 60)
Gladewater, Texas
Playing career
1976–1979Tulsa
Position(s)Linebacker, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1980Big Sandy (TX) High School (DC)
1981–1982Cascia Hall Prep (ADB/WR)
1983–1986Tulsa (LB)
1987Wisconsin (LB)
1988–1991Arizona State (LB)
1992Kentucky (LB)
1993–1994Tennessee (DB)
1995Ohio State (DB)
1996–2000Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LB)
2001–2003St. Louis Rams (DC)
2004–2012Chicago Bears
2014–2015Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016–presentIllinois
Head coaching record
Overall89–87 (NFL)
9–27 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
NFL Coach of the Year Award (AP, PFW, 2005)

Earlier life

Lovie Smith was born in Gladewater and raised in Big Sandy, Texas.[1] He was named after his great aunt, Lavana.[2]

Playing career

High school

During Smith's high school career at Big Sandy, he earned all-state honors for three years as a defensive end and linebacker. His team won three consecutive state championships from 1973 to 1975, including a 0–0 tie in 1974 versus G. A. Moore's Celina. In 1975, Big Sandy had one of the most dominant seasons in high school football history, as the defense allowed only 15 points (11 shutouts) all season, while the offense, featuring eventual Miami Dolphins running back David Overstreet, scored a then-national record 824 points.[3]

College

Smith played college football at University of Tulsa under head coach John Cooper. He was a two-time All-American at linebacker and defensive back.

Coaching career

High school

After graduation, he immediately pursued a coaching career. He was hired as defensive coordinator at his Big Sandy alma mater in 1980. A year later he left for Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa in 1981 and 1982, coaching defensive backs and wide receivers.

College assistant coach

In 1983, Smith began coaching linebackers on the college level, first at his alma mater the University of Tulsa (1983–86), and then at University of Wisconsin–Madison (1987), Arizona State University (1988–91), and the University of Kentucky (1992). He also served as defensive backs coach at the University of Tennessee (1993–94), and Ohio State University (1995).

NFL assistant coach (1996–2003)

Smith began his NFL coaching career as a linebacker coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Under the guidance of Tony Dungy, he helped develop the Tampa 2 defense. After spending five years with Buccaneers, Smith was hired as the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams under head coach Mike Martz. While in St. Louis, Smith improved the Rams defense, which went from giving up a league-worst 29.4 points per game in 2000 to an average of 17.1 points in 2001. The Rams won the 2001 NFC Championship and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVI. The team ultimately lost to the New England Patriots in one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets of all time.[4]

Chicago Bears head coach (2004–2012)

2004–2006

The Chicago Bears hired Smith as head coach in 2004, following the dismissal of Dick Jauron. Upon arriving in Chicago, Smith stated he had three goals: beat the Green Bay Packers; win the NFC North; and win a Super Bowl.[5] He struggled during his first season with the Bears, as the installation of new offensive and defensive systems and a series of injuries, including a season-ending knee injury to starting quarterback Rex Grossman, contributed to a 5–11 record.[6] Despite their poor offense, the Bears’ defense saw some major improvement, rising from 22nd in 2003 to 13th in 2004.

In 2005, history repeated itself when quarterback Rex Grossman suffered a serious injury during the preseason and missed a majority of the season.[7] Despite Grossman's loss, Smith and Ron Rivera used a dominant defense and the timely play of backup quarterback Kyle Orton to earn an 11–5 record, after starting the season with a 1–3 record. The Bears defense finished second in the league in terms of yardage, while allowing the fewest points in the league.[8]

The Bears’ dramatic turn around in the 2005 season earned Smith national recognition. He won the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Award that year. After returning to the field following their first round bye, the Bears played the Carolina Panthers, with a fully healed Rex Grossman as quarterback. Both the Bears’ offense and defense struggled to keep up with the Panthers, and eventually lost, 29–21.[9]

Smith and the Bears’ management drew criticism in April 2006, by trading away their first round pick and drafting five defensive players.[10] The preseason criticism increased when he named Grossman, who struggled to move the Bears’ offense during the preseason, as the Bears' starting quarterback.[11] Grossman led the Bears to seven consecutive victories, but struggled during the later portion of the season. Smith stood by Grossman, stating "Rex is our quarterback" when questioned by the media.[12] The Bears finished the 2006 season with a 13–3 record, earning the NFC’s top playoff seed. The Bears finished the season with the NFL's second-ranked scoring offense, and fifth-ranked overall defense.[13]

Smith led the Bears to a 27–24 victory against the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks during the 2006 Divisional Playoffs, winning the first playoff game of his career. Later, a 39–14 victory came against the New Orleans Saints at the NFC Championship. Smith became the first African-American head coach (and the second minority coach, behind Tom Flores) to lead his team to a Super Bowl, just hours before Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, his good friend and mentor, became the second. The friends together became the first two African American head coaches to oppose each other in a Super Bowl.[14][15] The Bears lost Super Bowl XLI, 29–17.[16]

2007–2012

Lovie Smith in 2007
Lovie Smith at the Chicago Bears 2007 Training Camp

Following Chicago's successful season, Smith requested a pay raise. The lowest-paid coach in the NFL in 2006 at $1.35 million, Smith would have earned $1.45 million in the final season of a four-year contract. After a stalemate in contract negotiations, the Bears signed Smith to a new four-year contract worth $22 million on March 1.[17] However, he parted with defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who was not re-signed after his contract expired. Additionally, four other members of Smith's coaching staff also left the team.[18]

In 2007, Smith, confident in Grossman's abilities, named him the team's starting quarterback over Kyle Orton and Brian Griese. After the team started the season with a 1–2 record, Smith announced that Griese would replace Grossman. Griese led the Bears to a 2–3 record,[19] but sustained an injury in a game against the Oakland Raiders, which allowed Grossman to become the team's starting quarterback again. However, Grossman was later injured in the season, and temporarily relieved by Griese. Smith ultimately allowed Kyle Orton to finish the remainder of the season, who led the Bears to a 2–1 record. The team's inconsistency at the quarterback position and failure to establish a proper running game contributed to the team's 7–9 finish. While the team finished last in the NFC North, Smith was pleased that the team ended the season by winning their last two games. Bob Babich, the team's defensive coordinator, was also criticized for his play calling.

The next year, Smith and the Bears parted with their leading rusher Cedric Benson, passer Griese, and receiver Bernard Berrian.[20] Smith declared Kyle Orton as the team's starting quarterback, who started the season with an upset victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears proceeded to go 2–2, with two overtime losses. The team managed to avoid falling below .500 for the remainder of the season, but missed the playoffs after losing their season finale to the Houston Texans. Smith was pleased with the success of rookie running back Matt Forte and quarterback Kyle Orton, who finished the season with a 79.6 quarterback rating. After the season's conclusion, Smith demoted Babich and took over defensive play calling responsibilities. He was also reunited with his long-time friend, Rod Marinelli, who had lost his head coaching job with the Detroit Lions.[21]

Lovie Smith Training Camp
Smith at training camp, 2009

Later in the offseason, Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo had conflicting views on the future of the team's quarterback position. While Smith was content with Orton, Angelo was more interested in creating a long-term solution to the position. Angelo traded Orton and the Bears' 2009 and 2010 first round draft picks for Jay Cutler of the Denver Broncos. The team's high expectations were quickly grounded when the Bears struggled in the month of November, losing four of five games. The Bears were eliminated from the playoff race for the third consecutive year after losing to the Green Bay Packers during a Week 14 matchup. The loss marked the first time that the Bears under Lovie Smith had ever lost two games to Green Bay in a single season.

A week after the loss to Green Bay, it was reported that despite rumors about changes to the Bears coaching staff, Smith would remain the team's head coach.[22] Jerry Angelo, the team's general manager, refused to confirm these reports when addressing the media the following Sunday.[23] Smith finished the season with consecutive wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. His victory over Detroit marked his 100th game as the team's head coach.[24]

After the season's conclusion, the Bears organization announced that Smith would return in 2010. However, the organization fired offensive coordinator Ron Turner and three other offensive coaches. Turner was replaced by Mike Martz, who had been the head coach of the St. Louis Rams when Smith was their defensive coordinator. Smith was relieved of his defensive play-calling responsibilities, while Babich was officially demoted as the team's defensive coordinator.[25] The Bears would go 11–5, but lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.[26]

In 2011, the Bears went 7–3, but after losing quarterback Jay Cutler to a broken thumb,[27] the Bears lost five straight, a first in Smith's career,[28] and finished 8–8. At the end of the season, general manager Jerry Angelo was fired, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz resigned.[29] Phil Emery, who worked for Smith during the 2004 season as an area scout for the Bears, became the new Bears general manager.[30] Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice replaced Martz at offensive coordinator.[31] In Week 13 of the 2012 season, the Bears recorded their 300th takeaway under Smith.[32]

The Bears started the 2012 season on a promising note with a 7–1 record. The team's defense ranked first in takeaways, third in points allowed, and fifth in yard allowed. However, the team lost five of their next eight games. The Bears finished the season with a 10–6 record, but missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. On December 31, 2012 Smith was fired as head coach of the Chicago Bears. Smith departed the Bears with nine years of service, three playoff appearances, one Coach of the Year award, and one Super Bowl appearance.[33]

Smith's nine years with the Bears is the third-longest head coaching tenure in the team's history, after Mike Ditka (11 years) and team founder George "Papa Bear" Halas (40 years).

Tampa Bay head coach (2014–2015)

On December 16, 2013, Smith was interviewed by the Houston Texans for the head coach job.[34] Smith was also reported to be the first interview for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers[35][36] and the Detroit Lions.[37]

On January 1, 2014, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that Smith would be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, replacing Greg Schiano.[38] This was confirmed the next day by the team.[39] Smith had signed a five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Smith was formally introduced as the 10th head coach in franchise history on Monday, January 7, 2014. Talking about his first stint with the Bucs, Smith said: "We did lay a foundation for Tampa Bay Buccaneer football, there's a certain brand of football that you expected from us. That would be relentless, you play hard, physical, but there was a brand of football that you did get from us each week at Raymond James Stadium. It was hard for opponents to come in and win."[40][41]

On January 6, 2016, Smith was fired by the Buccaneers after posting a record of 8-24 in his two years, including a 6–10 record in the 2015 season.[42][43]

University of Illinois head coach (2016–present)

On March 7, 2016, Smith was named head coach for the University of Illinois, agreeing to a contract paying $21 million over six years.[44][45] The hiring of Smith caused a roar of excitement in the university community. After two predecessors who had no previous experience on the national stage, and after five years without a winning record, the acquisition of a leader who had taken a professional football team to the Super Bowl invigorated the university's football fans. Ticket sales, which following the team's 2008 Rose Bowl Game appearance had averaged more than 61,000 per game (current stadium capacity is 60,670), had plummeted to the point where only about 7,000 people actually showed up at the stadium for Tim Beckman's final home game as head coach in 2014, and pictures of the empty stands were being posted on social media by game attendees.[46] In the 2015 season, in spite of personal appeals and campus walkabouts by then-head coach Bill Cubit, the stands averaged only about two-thirds full for the season. In the 48 hours following the announcement of the Smith hire, the university sold over 2000 new season tickets and more than 400 new student season tickets.[47]

When Smith's contract was approved by the university's Board of Trustees at their September 2016 meeting, $2 million of the salary was moved from the last two years of the contract and made payable in earlier years. Additionally, the contract provided for up to $8 million in performance bonuses.[48]

Personal life

Lovie and his wife, MaryAnne have three sons.[49]

Smith, whose mother is blind because of diabetes, is an active supporter of the American Diabetes Association. He and his wife are also the founders of the Lovie and MaryAnne Smith Foundation, a program which provides educational and life skill opportunities to worthy young people who otherwise face barriers in reaching their educational goals.[49][50] He was the Grand Marshal for the USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15, 2007.[51]

Smith is a devout Christian and has contributed every month to Brown's Chapel, his former Methodist church in Texas, even though he no longer resides in Texas.[52] In 2012, Smith was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, along with Bubba Smith, Dave Parks, Andre Ware, Mack Brown and Fred Couples.[53]

Coaching record

NFL

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CHI 2004 5 11 0 .313 4th in NFC North
CHI 2005 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to Carolina Panthers in NFC Divisional Game.
CHI 2006 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC North 2 1 .667 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
CHI 2007 7 9 0 .438 4th in NFC North
CHI 2008 9 7 0 .563 2nd in NFC North
CHI 2009 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC North
CHI 2010 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Championship Game.
CHI 2011 8 8 0 .500 3rd in NFC North
CHI 2012 10 6 0 .625 3rd in NFC North
CHI Total 81 63 0 .563 3 3 .500
TB 2014 2 14 0 .125 4th in NFC South
TB 2015 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC South
TB Total 8 24 0 .250 0 0 .000
Total[54] 89 87 0 .506 3 3 .500

College

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Illinois (Big Ten Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Illinois 3–9 2–7 6th (West)
2017 Illinois 2–10 0–9 7th (West)
2018 Illinois 4–8 2–7 7th (West)
Illinois: 9–27 4–23
Total: 9–27

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Smith has served:

Coach Team Year(s)
Tony Dungy Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1996–2000
Mike Martz St. Louis Rams 2001–2003

AAF head coaches under whom Smith has served:

Coach Team Year(s)
Mike Martz San Diego Fleet 2018-present


Assistant coaches under Smith who became NFL head coaches:

Coach Team Year(s)
Perry Fewell Buffalo Bills Interim, 2009
Ron Rivera Carolina Panthers 2011–present
Dirk Koetter Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016–2018
Steve Wilks Arizona Cardinals 2018

References

  1. ^ Wayne Drehs (January 28, 2007). "ESPN.com: Big Sandy Loves Lovie". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Soft-spoken guy named Lovie is perfect fit for Bears". MSNBC. November 4, 2006. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  3. ^ Jon Mark BeilueOpinion (December 14, 2005). "'75 Big Sandy: Legendary team was a handful". Amarillo.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "Biggest Super Bowl Upsets: Will The Hawks Join This List?". Docsports.com. January 24, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Pompei, Dan (December 31, 2012). "Lovie Smith out after 9 seasons as Bears coach". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Chicago Suntimes, Rex barks, Vikings bite Retrieved on December 21, 2006 Archived September 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Dodd, Mike (December 19, 2005). "Grossman's return energizes Bears in win over Falcons". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Yahoo! Sports, NFL Statistics By Team - 2005. Retrieved on July 2, 2008.
  9. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF: PANTHERS 29 BEARS 21 Retrieved on December 21, 2006
  10. ^ "Ask David Haugh". Chicagosports.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  11. ^ Smith feels Bears are primed for playoffs Archived April 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on January 12, 2007
  12. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (December 5, 2011). "Lovie Smith: We're not signing anyone". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "2006 Chicago Bears statistics". Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  14. ^ EDDIE PELLS<, AP National Writer Monday, January 22, 2007 (February 2, 2012). "Super comeback: Colts rally to stun Patriots". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Lovie Smith feels blessed after win, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 01/22/2007
  16. ^ Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17 Archived January 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (English)
  17. ^ "Smith, Angelo sign long-term contract extensions". Chicago Bears. February 28, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  18. ^ "Smith, Angelo sign long-term contract extensions". Chicagobears.com. February 28, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  19. ^ ChicagoBears.com,Griese replaces Grossman as starting quarterback Archived April 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on September 26, 2007.
  20. ^ Mayer, Larry (June 13, 2008). "How does ex-Bears RB Neal Anderson stack up?". chicagobears.com. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  21. ^ "Marinelli out as Bears defensive coordinator". sportsillustrated.com. Sports Illustrated. January 17, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  22. ^ Mullin, John (December 18, 2009). "Mullin: Lovie will Return as Bears Coach in 2010". Comcast SportsNet. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  23. ^ Leahy, Sean (December 21, 2009). "Bears GM Jerry Angelo fails to give Lovie Smith a vote of confidence in 2010". USA Today. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  24. ^ "Lovie at 100: Top 10 Lovieisms". Chicago Tribune. January 3, 2010. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  25. ^ Mayer, Larry (January 6, 2010). "Bears to hire two coordinators for first time since 2004". chicagobears.com. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  26. ^ "Packers beat Bears 21–14 to advance to Super Bowl". Content.usatoday.com. January 23, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  27. ^ "Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler breaks thumb in win over San Diego Chargers – NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN". Msn.foxsports.com. November 21, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  28. ^ "Loss to Pack ends Bears' playoff hopes". Chicagobears.com. December 25, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  29. ^ Jensen, Sean (January 3, 2012). "Jerry Angelo fired as Bears general manager, Martz resigns – Inside the Bears". Blogs.suntimes.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  30. ^ "New GM Phil Emery shows coach Lovie Smith some love – Chicago Sun-Times". Suntimes.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  31. ^ "Mike Tice will be Chicago Bears offensive coordinator – ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. January 7, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  32. ^ Billick, Brian (December 5, 2012). "Chicago Bears' stifling defense continues to make the difference". National Football League. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  33. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg. "Lovie Smith fired by Chicago Bears". Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  34. ^ "Texans interview Lovie Smith". ESPN. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  35. ^ Vederame, Matt. "Buccaneers will interview Lovie Smith, per report". SB Nation. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  36. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg. "NFL head coach tracker". NFL Network. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  37. ^ Birkett, Dave (December 31, 2013). "Detroit Lions expected to interview Lovie Smith, Jim Caldwell for head coaching job". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  38. ^ Jay Glazer [@JayGlazer] (January 2, 2014). "The Bucs are hiring Lovie Smith to be their new head coach, two sides are finalizing the contract tonight" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  39. ^ Smith, Scott (January 2, 2014). "Lovie Smith Returns to Coach Buccaneers". Buccaneers.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  40. ^ "Lovie Smith introduced as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach". ESPN.com.
  41. ^ "Returning 'home,' Lovie Smith vows to return Bucs to relevance".
  42. ^ "Buccaneers Dismiss Lovie Smith". Tampa Bay Buccaneers. January 6, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  43. ^ ESPN News Services (January 6, 2016). "Buccaneers fire coach Lovie Smith". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  44. ^ "Lovie Smith Named Illinois Football Coach". Illinois DIA. March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  45. ^ Ryan, Shannon. "Illinois hires Lovie Smith as next football coach". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  46. ^ "The Illinois student section 10 minutes before kickoff". Twitter. November 22, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  47. ^ "Illini attendance to receive big boost from Lovie Smith hire". scout.com. March 8, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  48. ^ "Illinois OKs six-year, $21 million contract for Lovie Smith". Chicago Tribune. September 8, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  49. ^ a b "Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lovie Smith".
  50. ^ "The Charitable Side of Da Bears". www.windycitygridiron.com. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  51. ^ Mayer, Larry, Smith to serve as Grand Marshal of NASCAR race (June 27, 2007), Retrieved on June 28, 2007.
  52. ^ "Lovie Smith still a hometown guy". pantagraph.com. January 29, 2007.
  53. ^ "Smith inducted into Texas Sports HOF". Chicagobears.com. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  54. ^ "Lovie Smith Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Pro-Football-Reference.com. May 8, 1958. Retrieved August 16, 2012.

External links

2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 39th season in the National Football League. It was also the first season under head coach Lovie Smith, replacing Greg Schiano, who was fired at the end of the 2013 season. It was also the first season under general manager Jason Licht, following the departure of Mark Dominik, after a disappointing 2013 season.

It also marked the first season under new ownership since 1994, after longtime owner Malcolm Glazer died on May 28, 2014. Glazer's family continues to run the team operations.

The Buccaneers tried to improve their record of 4–12 of last season, but failed after tying their number of losses when they lost to Carolina in Week 15. Following a 2–14 record, the Buccaneers finished last overall in the NFC and tied with the Titans for the worst record of the 2014 season, but was statistically (via a tiebreaker) last overall for the 2014 NFL season, thus earning the right to the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.

2015 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 2015 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 40th season in the National Football League and the second under head coach Lovie Smith. The offseason was marked by the draft selection of All-American Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The team wore a patch to commemorate the clubs's 40th season.By week eight, the team had already improved on their record from 2014 (2-14) by winning their third game against the Atlanta Falcons. Entering the month of December, the team found themselves mathematically in the hunt for a playoff berth with a 6-6 record. The Buccaneers lost their final four games of the season to finish 6-10 and last in the NFC South for the fifth straight year. Despite missing the playoffs, Doug Martin finished second in the league in rushing yards (just 82 yards shy of Adrian Peterson), and the franchise had their first ever season finishing in the top five in total offense.

On January 6, 2016, head coach Lovie Smith was fired after two seasons as head coach.

2016 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

The 2016 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by first-year head coach Lovie Smith and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. They were members of the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They finished the season 3–9, 2–7 in Big Ten play to finish in sixth place in the West Division.

2017 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

The 2017 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign during the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Fighting Illini played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, and competed in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They were led by second-year head coach Lovie Smith. They finished the season 2–10, 0–9 in Big Ten play to finish in last place in the West Division.

2018 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

The 2018 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Fighting Illini played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, and competed in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They were led by third-year head coach Lovie Smith. They finished the season 4–8, 2–7 in Big Ten play finish in last place in the West Division.

2019 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

The 2019 Illinois Fighting Illini football team will represent the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Fighting Illini will play their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, and will compete in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They will be led by fourth-year head coach Lovie Smith.

Cameron Brate

Cameron Brate (born July 3, 1991) is an American football tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Harvard.

Chris Conte

Christopher Michael Conte (born February 23, 1989) is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at California.

Hardy Nickerson

Hardy Otto Nickerson (born September 1, 1965) is an American football coach and former player. He played as linebacker for four teams over 16 seasons, from 1987 to 2002, in the National Football League (NFL). Nickerson spent the prime of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hiring of head coaches Sam Wyche and Tony Dungy allowed Nickerson to play in the middle in a 4–3 defense for both coaches; Nickerson played in a 3–4 defense with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While playing in the 4–3, Nickerson went to five Pro Bowls, and was selected for the National Football League 1990s All-Decade Team.

History of the Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears American football franchise is a charter member of the National Football League (NFL) and have played in all of the league's 99 seasons. The Bears have captured nine NFL championships – eight NFL championships and one Super Bowl – second most all time behind the Green Bay Packers. The franchise has also recorded more victories than any other franchise with 739, retired the most uniform numbers with fourteen, and have the most members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with twenty-seven.

The club has played in over a thousand games since becoming a charter member of the NFL in 1920 through the 2016 season.

Illinois Fighting Illini football

The Illinois Fighting Illini football program represents the University of Illinois in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) level. Illinois has five national championships and 15 Big Ten championships.

Jerry Angelo

Jerry Angelo (born c. 1949) is an American football executive who was the general manager for the National Football League's Chicago Bears from 2001 to 2011. Prior to joining the Bears, Angelo spent 14 years overseeing Tampa Bay Buccaneers' scouting department as their director of player personnel. Angelo graduated from Miami University in 1971.

Larry Marmie

Larry Marmie (born October 17, 1942) is an American football coach and former quarterback. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football. Marmie served as the head football coach at Arizona State University from 1988 to 1991, compiling a record of 22–21–1. The 6'1", 195-pound Marmie played college football at Eastern Kentucky, quarterbacking at the school in the early 1960s after transferring from Ohio State.He served as a senior defensive assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under head coach Lovie Smith until 2015. In 2018, he became the defensive coordinator of the Fleet, serving under Mike Martz.

Lavonte David

Lavonte David (born January 23, 1990) is an American football linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Nebraska, and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

List of Chicago Bears head coaches

This is a complete list of Chicago Bears head coaches. There have been 17 head coaches for the Chicago Bears, including coaches for the Decatur Staleys (1919–1920) and Chicago Staleys (1921). The Bears franchise was founded as the Decatur Staleys, a charter member of the American Professional Football Association. The team moved to Chicago in 1921, and changed its name to the Bears in 1922, the same year the American Professional Football Association (APFA) changed its name to the National Football League (NFL).

The Chicago Bears have played more than 1,000 games. Of those games, five different coaches have won NFL championships with the team: George Halas in 1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1946 and 1963; Ralph Jones in 1932; Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos in 1943; and Mike Ditka in 1985. George Halas is the only coach to have more than one tenure and is the all-time leader in games coached and games won, while Ralph Jones leads all coaches in winning percentage with .706. Abe Gibron is statistically the worst coach of the Bears in terms of winning percentage, with a .268 average.Of the 18 Bears coaches, three have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: George Halas, Paddy Driscoll, and Mike Ditka. Several former players have been head coach for the Bears, including George Halas, Hunk Anderson, Luke Johnsos, Paddy Driscoll, Jim Dooley, Abe Gibron and Mike Ditka.

After Ditka was fired following the 1992 season, the Bears went through six head coaches starting with Dave Wannstedt, who coached until 1998. Dick Jauron took over in 1999 until he was fired in 2003. Lovie Smith was hired on January 14, 2004. Smith was fired on December 31, 2012, after the Bears missed the playoffs with a 10–6 record after starting the season 7–1. On January 16, 2013, Marc Trestman was hired to be the new head coach to take Smith's place. Trestman was fired on December 29, 2014, with a 13–19 record over two seasons. On January 16, 2015, John Fox was hired as the new head coach of the team. He compiled a 14–34 record over three seasons before being fired on January 1, 2018. A week later, Matt Nagy became the new head coach.

List of Illinois Fighting Illini head football coaches

The following is a list of Illinois Fighting Illini men's football head coaches. The Illinois Fighting Illini football team has had 27 individuals that have maintained the title of head coach. The current coach is Lovie Smith.

*Hall, Lindgren, Lowenthal and Matthews shared the title of "Head Coach" for the 1904 season.

**Zook was fired at the end of the regular season; defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was appointed as interim head coach and coached Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

***Cubit served as interim coach for the most of the 2015 regular season after Tim Beckman was terminated in August 2015, one week before the season-opening game. The "Interim" portion of Cubit's title was removed on November 28, 2015, a few hours before the last game of the season, and he was named permanent head coach--a tenure that lasted exactly one game, as the following March he was relieved of duties in favor of Lovie Smith by new Athletic Director Josh Whitman.

List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaches

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football team based in Tampa, Florida. They are members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The franchise was founded as an NFL team in 1976 by Hugh Culverhouse. They lost their first 26 games and had one playoff win in its first 21 seasons before winning the Super Bowl in 2002.There have been ten head coaches for the Buccaneers franchise. The team has played 628 games in 40 seasons since joining the NFL. Three Buccaneers coaches, John McKay, Tony Dungy, and Jon Gruden, have taken the Buccaneers to the playoffs, while only Gruden has won the Super Bowl with the team, at Super Bowl XXXVII. The team's all-time leader in games coached is McKay (133) and the leader in wins is Gruden (57); Dungy leads all Buccaneers coaches in winning percentage (.563). Leeman Bennett has the lowest winning percentage (.125) of all Buccaneers coaches.

Phil Emery (American football)

Phillip Emery (born January 16, 1959) is an American football scout for the Atlanta Falcons and former general manager of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), a role he held from 2012 to 2014.

Tampa 2

The Tampa 2 is an American football defensive scheme popularized by (and thus named after) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League (NFL) team in the mid-1990s–early 2000s. The Tampa 2 is typically employed out of a 4–3 defensive alignment, which consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties. The defense is similar to a Cover 2 defense, except the middle linebacker drops into a deep middle coverage for a Cover 3 when he reads a pass play.The term rose to popularity due to the installation and effective execution of this defensive scheme by then-head coach Tony Dungy and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, and the style helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII.

The roots of the Tampa 2 system actually are in the Steel Curtain days of Pittsburgh football. "My philosophy is really out of the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers playbook," said Dungy (who played for the Steelers early in his career) during media interviews while at Super Bowl XLI. "That is why I have to laugh when I hear 'Tampa 2'. Chuck Noll and Bud Carson—that is where it came from, I changed very little." Lovie Smith mentions having played the system in junior high school during the 1970s, though Carson introduced the idea of moving the middle linebacker into coverage. Carson's system became especially effective with the Steelers' addition of aggressive and athletic middle linebacker Jack Lambert.After Dungy became head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith (linebackers coach in Tampa from 1996–2000) became head coach of the Chicago Bears, they installed the Tampa 2 in their respective teams. During the 2005 NFL season, the Buccaneers, still under defensive coordinator Kiffin, ranked first in the league in fewest total yards allowed, Smith's Bears ranked number two, and Dungy's Colts ranked eleventh. By 2006, the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and Detroit Lions had also adopted the defense. In college football, Gene Chizik is among the coaches that successfully implemented the Tampa 2.

The scheme is known for its simple format, speed, and the aggressive mentality of its players. Tampa 2 teams are known as gang tacklers with tremendous team speed, and practice to always run to the ball. It also requires a hard hitting secondary to cause turnovers.

Head football coaches of the Big Ten Conference
East Division
West Division

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.