After nine seasons as head coach,the Chicago Bears have decided to part ways with Lovie Smith. His record as the Bears head coach was 81-63 during the regular season and 3-3 in the playoffs.
Smith was informed of the decision by general manager Phil Emery on the day after the Bears beat Detroit to finish 10-6 but still didn’t make the playoffs.
Smith led the Bears to a Super Bowl, but also saw his team collapse in the second half of the past two seasons. Hired in 2004, Smith led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC title games and a 2007 Super Bowl appearance in his nine seasons. His record is 81-63, and he leaves with one year left on his contract.
The Bears scheduled a news conference Tuesday to discuss the move.
Even though Chicago closed with a win, the Bears needed a loss by Minnesota to get into the playoffs. The Vikings, though, beat Green Bay to clinch a postseason spot, leaving Chicago as the second team since the postseason expanded to 12 teams to miss out after a 7-1 start. The other was Washington in 1996.