Skip to main content

Former Buccaneers Head Coach Fired After Just One Season

One season and done for the former Buccaneers head coach.

Lovie Smith is a good guy. You'd be hard-pressed to find many people to dispute such a claim. 

Is Lovie Smith a good NFL head coach? That's another debate. 

Although this may sound harsh, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many people who would agree with such a claim—especially those in Tampa. 

Lovie Smith was hired as the head coach of the Buccaneers on January 7th, 2014. He lasted a day less than two years though and was subsequently fired on January 6th, 2016. The two seasons that occupied the time in between those dates do not present glorious memories for Bucs fans. The team went 8-24 with Lovie Smith as the head coach.

READ MORE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers finalize list of opponents for 2023 season

After being relieved of his duties in Tampa Bay, Smith decided to try his hand in the college ranks, where he became the head coach for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Although he experienced some success early on, in five seasons, he finished with an overall record of 17-39, including a 10-39 record in Big Ten Conference play. 

Despite his struggles, there were apparently still some who believed that Lovie Smith had the makings of a quality NFL head coach. Specifically, the Houston Texans. 

In March of 2021, the team's general manager, Nick Caserio, with the blessing of Cal McNair (CEO), and Janice McNair (owner), felt confident in hiring Lovie Smith to help facilitate the drastic rebuild that was required to undo the damage created by the Bill O'Brien and Deshaun Watson era. 

Lovie Smith has always been a patient man. And taking on the challenge of coaching a roster in shambles, as the Texans were (and are), would require a great deal of patience. So I guess, in some respects, it was a match made in heaven. 

Well as it turns out, the Houston Texans' front office wasn't looking for patience after all, what they were looking for was a miracle.

READ MORE: Updated Super Bowl Odds for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For the second consecutive season, the Texans decided to fire their head coach, after just one season with the team.

No matter what you think of Lovie Smith's coaching ability, the fact is, the Texans hired him. Very recently, in fact. They are the ones who believed in his coaching ability, and they are the ones who hand-picked him to lead their team into battle each week. But based on the roster Lovie Smith had to work with in Houston, this decision is not only unfair, but it's straight-up delusional for them to have expected him to turn things around in one calendar year.

I'm not the only one who feels this way, as Buccaneers' legend, and current SNF studio analyst, Tony Dungy, took to Twitter to express his frustration with the decision.

The firing of Lovie Smith by the Houston Texans tells us a lot more about the franchise management, and ownership group, than it does Lovie Smith as a head coach. 

For continuing coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, make sure to follow Collin Haalboom on Twitter, and subscribe to the Bucs Banter YouTube channel for weekly video content. 

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the season.

Follow BucsGameday on Twitter and Facebook