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Former Bears, Illini Head Coach Lovie Smith Lands New Gig

Lovie Smith is back in the NFL.

Lovie Smith Texans
Photo: IlliniFootball/Twitter

After being let go by Illinois football at the end of the 2020 season, Lovie Smith has already found a new coaching position. According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Smith is set to become the Houston Texans’ defensive coordinator under new head coach David Culley.

Smith coached at the college level from 1980 to 1996 before making the leap to the NFL to become the Buccaneers’ linebackers coach. He then moved on to become the defensive coordinator for the Rams. In 2004, Smith took over as the Bears head coach and eventually led Chicago to the 2007 Super Bowl.

In 2014, he rejoined the Buccaneers for two years before becoming the head coach at the University of Illinois. Smith posted a 17-39 record in his five-year tenure at Illinois.


Lovie struggled to revitalize a substandard Illini football program that eventually parted ways with him to bring in Bret Bielema before the final game of the 2020 season.

Smith seems better suited for the NFL, as his defenses have historically enjoyed success. While another head coaching job may not be in Lovie’s future, a defensive coordinator role has his name written all over it.




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