Mike Smith, fired by Bucs this season, doesn’t plan to coach again


Jenna Laine
ESPN Staff Writer
TAMPA, Fla. —
Former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who was fired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ defensive coordinator in 2018, says he won’t pursue any more coaching opportunities.

FILE – Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator and Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith chats with Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan. (AP)

Appearing Tuesday on “The Opening Drive” on SiriusXM, Smith expressed his desire to turn the page after 35 seasons of coaching, including 19 in the NFL.

“I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to coach in the National Football League, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Smith said. “I think, for me and my family, it’s time for us to look at some adventures and have a lot of things that we’d like to do, that I’d like to do.

“I’m looking forward to what those adventures bring because it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve been in this league and coached a long time, and I think it’s time to go do something different.”

Smith was most recently the defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay for 2½ seasons. His defense was largely credited with the Bucs’ five-game win streak en route to a 9-7 season in 2016 — their first winning season since 2010.

But his defense, which many considered too passive for today’s NFL, struggled, giving up more than 400 yards of offense in 20 of 37 games. He was fired after Week 6.

As Atlanta’s head coach from 2008 to 2014, Smith went 66-46, leading the Falcons to four playoff appearances in seven seasons, including an NFC Championship Game in 2012. He was named Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2008.

Before coaching the Falcons, Smith served as the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003 to 2007) and coached the defensive line and linebackers with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2002. Those opportunities followed college stints at Tennessee Tech, Morehead State and San Diego State.

Smith will still be involved in the game in some capacity. He’s currently working with a company called XTECH Protective Equipment designed to improve player safety.

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