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Buc starts here: Smith takes over in Tampa

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Updated: 1/02 4:30 pm

Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday that Lovie Smith has been named the franchise's new head coach.

Smith, who agreed to a five-year contract, takes over for Greg Schiano, who was fired on Monday after a stormy two-year tenure. He returns to Tampa for the first time since 2000, his final season of five on then-head coach Tony Dungy's staff.

Smith will be formally introduced at a Monday press conference.

"Today is an exciting day for the Buccaneer organization, and the entire Tampa Bay community, as we welcome back Lovie Smith," said Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer. "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."

The 55-year-old native of Texas and Tulsa product spent nine seasons as head coach with the Chicago Bears, going 81-63 in the regular season and 3-3 in the postseason.

Included in those totals are four 10-win seasons, three NFC North division titles and three playoff appearances, culminating in a loss to Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI.

Tampa Bay, which earned seven postseason berths and won a Super Bowl from 1997 to 2007, hasn't seen playoff action since then, winning as many as nine games only twice (2008, 2010).

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