It's official: Buccaneers announce Lovie Smith as new coach

By Ryan Wilson |

Lovie Smith is the Buccaneers' new coach. (USATSI)

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday that Lovie Smith is their new head coach.

News first broke Wednesday night that Smith, who last coached the Bears to a 10-6 record in 2012, was returning to Tampa where he had served as a linebackers coach under Tony Dungy from 1996-2000.

"Today is an exciting day for the Buccaneer organization, and the entire Tampa Bay community, as we welcome back Lovie Smith," Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer said according to the team's website. “Lovie is an accomplished and very well respected head coach who has enjoyed success at every level of his 30-year career. We knew from the start of our search that he was the ideal man to lead this team into this new era of Buccaneer football.”

Smith signed a five-year deal and will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday, Jan. 6. The coaching staff has yet to be named, but reports that Jeff Tedford and Rod Marinelli are candidates for the offensive and defensive coordinator jobs.

Smith was 83-61 during his nine seasons with the Bears and that included three division titles, two NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl XLI berth.

In Tampa Bay, he'll replace Greg Schiano, who managed an 11-21 record in two seasons.

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