Former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy weighs in on Lovie Smith firing

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Former Tampa Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy is still shocked by the Bucs decision to fire Lovie Smith.

“I hate to see (head) coach Smith go because I know how good a coach he is and I thought they were on the right track,” Dungy told News Channel 8.

Former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy
Former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy

Dungy, who coached the Bucs from 1996 – 2001, is close friends with Smith. He said as the Bucs begin a search to replace Smith, quality should trump speed when it comes hiring. The Bucs may be in a race against the clock because so many NFL teams are on the hunt for coaches.

“You can’t worry about the people you might lose,” Dungy said. “You have to worry about the people you do bring in.”

The Bucs have said there are looking closely at a few candidates, including current offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Many consider him the odds on favorite for the job. Other names are surfacing as well. The team released a statement:

(The Buccaneers are) confirming that Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will be interviewing this week for the team’s head coaching position.”

Dungy said the best thing for the Bucs to do is take their time. ”It’s always best to be patient, be thorough, take your time and make sure you get the right person,” he said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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