Tampa, FL-- 55-year-old Lovie Smith was introduced Monday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 10th head coach in franchise history.
Lovie thanked Tony Dungy -- who hired him for his first professional job in 1996 -- fellow coaches Monte Kiffin, Herm Edwards, Kevin O'Dea, and Rod Marinella, and the players he coached in Tampa, like Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles, John Lynch, and Ronde Barber.
"We did, as Bryan said, lay a foundation for Tampa Bay Buccaneer football," Lovie Smith told a crowded auditorium at One Buc Place. "There's a certain brand of football that you expected from us. You knew we'd be relentless, we would play hard, physical, but there was a brand of football that you did get from us each week. At Raymond James Stadium, it was hard for opponents to come in and win. We have gotten away from that a little bit, and it is time, as we go to the future, for us to become a relevant team again."
"When we began our coaching search for a new head coach," said Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer, "we focused on finding a strong leader with a proven and established track record. We searched for a man who would not only command respect among his players, but stand tall as a symbol for our team in this community. It was easy, not because we knew Lovie from his previous time here, but because he fit our criteria perfectly. It was obvious he was the right man, at the right time, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
Smith confirmed that he would hire former Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator.
The Bucs had already announced that Jeff Tedford would be the new offensive coordinator.
"I wanted to get a guy that had been a primary quarterback guru, that knew that position in and out," said Smith. "My research led me to Jeff Tedford. After that, I looked at his track record and what he had done, especially at [the University of California], what he had done offensively, and I brought him in. We spent a couple of days together down in my basement in Chicago and kind of merged our philosophies -- and they weren't off -- on how we wanted to play offensive football."
Smith said he probably would have his entire coaching staff in place by the end of the week.