Multiple Internet reports state that former Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith has been hired as the head coach of the University of Illinois. The school fired Bill Cubit on Saturday.
Smith’s hiring was first reported by WBBM-TV in Chicago and then confirmed by others, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Fox Sports.
Smith, 57, was hired as the Bucs’ head coach in January 2014, but was fired after going 8-24 in just two seasons, including a 3-13 record at home. Smith had two years left on his contract and is owed $10 million by the Bucs. His salary at Illinois will be deducted from what he was set to earn from 2016-17, which certainly pleases the Glazers.
Smith returns to the state of Illinois where he coached the Chicago Bears from 2004-12. He has family in Illinois, including his son and agent, Matt Smith, and his grandkids. His other sons, Mikal and Miles, coached with him in Tampa Bay and could be added to his staff at the University of Illinois.
Before becoming Tampa Bay’s linebackers coach under Tony Dungy in 1996, Smith spent 13 years coaching in college football. His last stint in college was as Ohio State’s linebackers coach in 1995.
New Bucs wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator Todd Monken, an Illinois native, was previously linked to the Illini head coaching job as a potential candidate. Monken spent the last couple of years as the head coach of Southern Miss.
Smith becomes the second fired Bucs head coach to return to the college ranks, joining Greg Schiano, who coached Tampa Bay from 2012-13. Schiano spent two years out of coaching working as a football analyst for ESPN before being named the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
If true, Congrats, Lovie. Lovie is working the 3 Card Monte again. lol.
Probably took the job so he could put his sons back to work.
Poor dad, he could be at home working on his golf game with early retirement if not for his offspring.
I know exactly how he must feel.
That’s what I thought too. Had to get his sons out of the basement.
Question to anyone who knows the answer: that detail about his salary from Illinois – is that true for all fired NFL coaches? If they get another gig, does the salary from the second party always equally reduce the amount of money the team that fired him has to pay him? Or is that something that’s specifically laid out in some coaching contracts and not others? Also, what happens if Lovie gets fired by Illinois after this year? Is he then getting paid his full salary by toh Illinois AND us? And if he gets another job after that, which team gets its salary obligations offset by the third party first – us, or Illinois?
That’s my understanding. I also think the pay has to be from coaching to offset. Thus Gruden’s MNF gig doesn’t count against him.
Be interesting to see how his defense holds up against some of these wacky college offenses. First game last season Mariota lit us up with the quick slants. College offenses spread you out more, not good for the Tampa2. Good luck Lovie, and family.
I wish him the best !! I believe the kids just got a 3 yr job
I feel sorry for Illinois.
Best of luck to Lovie Smith. It’s all good in that both the Buccaneers and Lovie have moved on.
Haha good luck Illinois. Lovies defense will get shredded by spread offenses. Thanks for not keeping the Bucs on the hook for all of that money. AT least he went to a team that really sucks so they just won’t know any better when he fails.
I am a Purdue grad and I am happy the Boilermakers won’t be the worst team in the Big 10 now!
I didn’t realize Schiano was running the Ohio State defense and the assistant HC last year. The guy is a winner.
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