Former Bears coach Lovie Smith on Wednesday night was fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after compiling an 8-24 record in two seasons.
After a 2-14 finish in 2014, the Buccaneers improved to 6-10 in 2015, though they lost their last four games, including a 26-21 defeat to the Bears Dec. 27 in Tampa.
"After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement issued by the team.
"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. As we move forward, General Manager Jason Licht will oversee the process for finding our next head coach."
Smith served as Bears coach for nine seasons from 2004-12, compiling an 81-63 record in the regular-season and 3-3 in the playoffs. He won three division titles and one NFC championship. Smith ranks third in franchise history in victories behind Hall of Famers George Halas (324) and Mike Ditka (112).