In his first year as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2014 Lovie Smith's squad won only two games. This year, they finished 6-10. The slight improvement, and the promise of a bright future with talented young quarterback Jameis Winston was not enough for Smith to keep his job.
Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer released the following statement on Wednesday: "After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change. I want to thank Lovie for his hard work and dedication to the Buccaneers during his time here. This decision was difficult on a variety of levels. I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve."
With Smith's firing, the franchise will now be looking to hire its third coach in five seasons. The Bucs will hold a news conference this afternoon to discuss Smith's dismissal. Tampa is now the seventh team in the NFL with a head-coaching vacancy, joining San Francisco, Cleveland, Tennessee, Miami, Philadelphia and the New York Giants.
As the head coach in Chicago, Smith led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. With Smith's dismissal, the number of black coaches in the NFL is now down to four: Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis, Detroit's Jim Caldwell and the New York Jets' Todd Bowles.