Lovie Smith is now the head coach at the University of Illinois, a job that he wasn’t expecting to take when the Buccaneers ended their 2015 season.
It was a losing season for the Bucs, but it was Smith’s second on the job and they improved by four wins with a rookie quarterback starting every game. That made it seem like things were moving in the right direction, but the organization disagreed and fired Smith before promoting offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
During an appearance with Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports Radio, Smith said he thought he had the Bucs “set up to really take off in Year 3” and said he was surprised and disappointed by the move.
“I definitely think there should be more patience. It takes time,” Smith said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “If you make a change, there’s something that’s wrong, and you can’t just flip a switch. Things don’t happen overnight. You have to have a plan going in and stick with that plan. When I took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job, I thought there was a plan in place. I thought that plan was being put into action. When you’re the boss, though, you can be impatient. Normally the franchises that do take their time and give you a chance maintain that level of success.”
Since the Bucs last made the playoffs in 2007, they have employed Jon Gruden, Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Smith and Koetter as their head coach. The lack of stability certainly hasn’t helped the team find success on the field, but it’s hard to make a case for staying the course when the course has consistently led the Bucs to the back of the pack.