The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired Dirk Koetter as their head coach, and Koetter confirmed in his introductory press conference that former Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith will soon be named the defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay.
Smith and Koetter first worked together in 2007, when Smith was the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Koetter was the offensive coordinator. Smith became the head coach of the Falcons in 2008, and Koetter was hired as the Falcons' offensive coordinator in 2012.
Smith was fired following the 2014 season, after the Falcons won a total of ten games in two years. Koetter accepted the offensive coordinator job with the Bucs prior to the 2015 season, and was instantly identified as a favorite for their head coach position after Lovie Smith was fired.
Koetter pointed to experience as part of the reason he selected Smith as his new defensive coordinator.
"Experience counts a ton in this league," Koetter said of having Mike Smith as his defensive coordinator on new Bucs staff ...— Greg Auman (@gregauman) January 15, 2016
Smith, winner of the Sporting News Coach of the Year award in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and the recipient of AP Coach of the Year recognition in 2008, brings a great deal of experience to his new role.
It will be interesting to see how Koetter fares as a head coach, and it's nice that Smith has an opportunity to get back in the league.