Chicago Bears Fire Coach + East Texas Native Lovie Smith
Multiple outlets are reporting the Chicago Bears have fired head coach Lovie Smith, an East Texas native who led the Bears to a Super Bowl and an NFC Championship game during his eight-season tenure.
Smith, a 1976 graduate of Big Sandy High School, was let go Monday morning after the Bears failed to reach the playoffs after starting the season 7-1. Chicago finished the 2012 season at 10-6, but were eliminated from the playoffs after Minnesota's win over Green Bay on Sunday.
Smith was 81-63 in his eight seasons in Chicago and 3-3 in the playoffs. He and Tony Dungy were the first African-Americans to coach in the Super Bowl in 2006, a game Smith lost to longtime friend Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts.
Smith was a star linebacker for the Big Sandy Wildcats during their run of three straight state championships from 1973-75. He was part of one of the most dominating high school football programs in Texas history -- the 1975 team scored a then-national record 824 points and allowed just 15 all season en route to a 14-0 record and a third straight Class B state title.
He played alongside the late David Overstreet, Big Sandy's superstar running back who later played for the Oklahoma Sooners and Miami Dolphins.