Buccaneers fire head coach Lovie Smith

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired head coach Lovie Smith.

The move comes after Smith coached the team to an 8-24 record over two seasons. Smith took over from Greg Schiano in 2014, leading the franchise's rebuild that included drafting quarterback Jameis Winston first overall in 2015.

Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer released a statement on the move, indicating general manager Jason Licht will be in charge of finding Smith's replacement:

After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change. 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's inability to improve a defense with promising talent at key positions is likely what cost him his job. The Bucs gave up an ugly 26.1 points per game in a weak NFC South in 2015.

After spending nine successful seasons with the Chicago Bears, that included a trip to the Super Bowl, Smith was one of seven coaches hired in 2014. Three of the seven (Smith, Mike Pettine, Ken Whisenhunt) have now been fired.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is likely to get strong consideration to take over Smith's job, with many speculating the franchise made the move less because they wanted to fire Smith and more because they wanted to keep Koetter.

Koetter has reportedly drawn interest from several franchises with head coaching vacancies, including the San Francisco 49ers.