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Lovie Smith was born on this date in 1958. He is a Black professional and college football coach.
Born in Gladewater, TX, Lovie Lee Smith was named after his great-aunt, Lavana. Raised in Big Sandy, TX, he earned all-state honors for three years as a defensive end and linebacker. His team won three state championships as well. He played at University of Tulsa and was a two-time All-American.
Smith began coaching at his hometown high school in 1980. In 1983, he began coaching at his alma mater, Tulsa (1983–86), then the University of Wisconsin (1987), Arizona State University (1988–91), the University of Kentucky (1992), the University of Tennessee (1993–94), and Ohio State University (1995).
In 1996, Smith began his professional coaching career as a linebacker coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, under the guidance of Tony Dungy. After spending four years with Buccaneers, Smith was hired as the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. The Chicago Bears hired Smith as their head coach in January, 2004.
Smith is an active supporter of the American Diabetes Association. In addition to participating in various events for the ADA, Smith also donates tickets to every Bears’ game to children suffering from diabetes. He and his wife are also the founders of the Lovie and MaryAnne Smith Foundation, a program which donates college tuition funds towards impoverished children. Smith was fired after a winning season in 2012 with Chicago.
Smith coached at the University of Illinois until 2020. He and his wife MaryAnne have three children; Mikal, Matthew, and Miles. They also have twin grandsons named Malachi and Noah.