The Houston Texans tapped Lovie Smith, who won the 2005 NFL Coach of the Year with the Chicago Bears, as their new head coach to replace David Culley after an unimpressive one-and-done season with a 4-13 record.

Lovie Smith Houston Texans Hire New Head Coach
The Houston Texans promoted Lovie Smith from defensive coordinator to head coach. (Image: Getty)

Smith spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Bears and two seasons with the Tampa Bay Bucs compiling a career record of 89-87. He led the 2006 Bears to a trip to the Super Bowl, but Peyton Manning denied them their first win since Mike Ditka and the infamous 1987 Bears team.

After a lackluster stint as a head coach at Illinois, Smith was let go midway through the 2020 season after a 2-5 start. He went 17-39 at Illinois including 10-33 in Big Ten conference play.

Smith returned to the NFL last season. The Texans hired Smith as an associate head coach and defensive coordinator under Culley.

The Texans ultimately decided to promote from within the organization and hired Smith as their next head coach.

“I think Lovie’s a good coach, and I think he’s done a lot for our program and our system and our players have a lot of belief in him,” said GM Nick Caserio.

Other finalists for the Texans job included ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, former NFL quarterback Josh McCown, and LA Rams offensive coordinator Kevin McConnell. McConnell is about to coach in the Super Bowl, but he’s rumored to become the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

The addition of Smith did not alter the NFL futures market. The Texans are still the longest shot on the board at +15000 odds to win Super Bowl 57.

Windy City Lovie

Smith is a feel-good story but old-school coach who worked his way up the coaching ladder. The former standout linebacker from Tulsa never made it to the NFL, but he quickly pivoted to coaching. Smith began as a high school coach in Big Sandy, Texas in the early 1980s before returning to his alma mater to coach at Tulsa. He eventually spent stints in the Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC as a linebackers and DBs coach.

Smith earned his first NFL job with the Tampa Bay Bucs in the late 1990s thanks to Tony Dungy. He had short stint with the St. Louis Rams as a defensive coordinator under Mike Martz in the early 2000s, before the Chicago Bears hired him for his first head coaching job in 2004.

Smith went 81-63 in nine seasons with the Bears with three divisional titles in the NFC North. He led the 2006 Bears to the Super Bowl, but they lost to Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Smith guided the Bears to the 2010 NFC Championship Game, but they lost to the Green Bay Packers.

The Bears fired Smith at the end of the 2012 season after they started out 7-1 but went 3-5 in the second half of the season and missed the playoffs.

In 2014, Tampa Bay hired Smith as their head coach. The Bucs finished in last place in both seasons under Smith including 2-14 in 2014 and 6-10 in 2015.

Smith is now one of five minority head coaches in the NFL including Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders), Robert Saleh (New York Jets), and Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins).