Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Hire Lovie Smith as Head Coach

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A person familiar with the negotiations says former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has reached an agreement to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Speaking to The Associated Press on Wednesday night on the condition of anonymity because an official announcement hasn't been made, the person also says former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier will be the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator.

The 55-year-old Smith will replace Greg Schiano, fired Monday after going 4-12 this season and 11-21 in two years with the team. Frazier also was fired Monday.

Smith was 81-63 in nine seasons with Chicago, leading the 2006 team to the Super Bowl -- where the Bears lost Indianapolis. He was fired a year ago after the Bears finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

Smith was Tampa Bay's linebackers coach under Tony Dungy from 1996-2000, then spent three seasons as the St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator on Mike Martz's staff.

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AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org


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