The Houston Texans fired Lovie Smith following the team’s season finale on Sunday, his tenure as head coach lasting one year with a 3-13-1 record.
Smith went out with a win, as the Texans rallied to beat the Indianapolis Colts 32-31 on a Hail Mary touchdown for a season-high point total.
The win, however, cost the Texans the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as they slid to the second spot behind the Chicago Bears (3-14).
A veteran head coach for three NFL teams, Smith, 64, had replaced David Culley, who was 4-13 in his lone season in Houston. Smith had served in 2021 as the Texans’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Lovie Smith for everything he has contributed to our team over the last two seasons as a coach and a leader,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said in a statement Sunday night on the team’s website and Twitter account.
“I’m constantly evaluating our football operation and believe this is the best decision for us at this time. It is my responsibility to build a comprehensive and competitive program that can sustain success over a long period of time. We aren’t there right now, however, with the support of the McNair family and the resources available to us, I’m confident in the direction of our football program moving forward.”
Smith has a career record of 92-100-1 with the Bears (2004-12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-15) and Texans. He was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2005 when the Bears went to the Super Bowl and lost to the Colts.
“Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and informed him that we will be moving in a different direction as an organization,” Texans chair and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement released Sunday night. “I appreciate Coach Smith and his entire family for their contributions over the last two seasons. We are grateful for his leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward.
“While we understand the results have not been what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and city deserve a team that they can be proud of. I will work alongside Nick Caserio throughout this process and I’m confident we will find the right leader for our football team.”
–Field Level Media