Former Vols Assistant Hired As Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach


Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple media outlets have reported that Lovie Smith, a former Tennessee defensive assistant, was hired on Wednesday evening to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay’s new coach served as the Tennessee Volunteers’ defensive backs coach during the 1993-94 seasons. He was a part of teams that included players such as Heath Shuler, Todd Helton, Peyton Manning, Jay Graham, Joey Kent, James Stewart and Marcus Nash, among many others. Smith turned down an opportunity to interview for the Vols’ head coaching job after Phillip Fulmer resigned in 2008.

Smith most recently was the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012. He led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006 and was the AP NFL coach of the the year that same season. Smith was fired following the 2012 season, after a 10-6 season.

This will be Smith’s second stint with Tampa Bay. He previously served as the Bucs’ linebackers coach from 1996 to 2000.