Over five years coaching the Illini, Smith compiled a 17-39 record with a 10-33 mark in Big Ten play. The Lovie Smith era ended late Sunday morning when he was dismissed with one week to play in the 2020 season. Asmussen: Let's get back to recruiting high school talent He’ll be turning 63 before next season but … That buyout plummets after the 2019 season and beyond. 15 Northwestern, which dropped the Illini to 2-5 on the season. Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is back in the NFL. Illinois would've paid Lovie Smith $12 million if they fired him after last season, his third as Illini head coach. Lovie Smith leaves Illinois with a 17-39 overall record and was 10-33 in the Big Ten. Illinois fired football coach Lovie Smith after five seasons without a winning record. In Tampa, Smith replaced Greg Schiano, but was canned after a pedestrian 8-24 record. It's no wonder Smith's teams have been outscored in the series 155-26. ... Lovie Smith is an unquestionably massive upgrade for Illinois. This is the team Lovie has built towards, and with the NCAA making this a free eligibility year, the Illini have a chance to cement themselves as a decent program under Lovie Smith. Fresh off the memorable 14-13 upset of #2 Michigan, Iowa shut out Lovie's first Illinois team 28-0 on a cold, windy day at Memorial Stadium. It wasn't a pretty sight. You could even say it was downright hideous. Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Texans are hiring Smith to be their new defensive coordinator. 2016: Iowa 28, Illinois 0. Lovie Smith’s tenure at the University of Illinois has come to an end. 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