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Chicago Bears Fire Coach + East Texas Native Lovie Smith

Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images

Multiple outlets are reporting the Chicago Bears have fired head coach Lovie Smith, an East Texas native who led the Bears to a Super Bowl and an NFC Championship game during his eight-season tenure.

Smith, a 1976 graduate of Big Sandy High School, was let go Monday morning after the Bears failed to reach the playoffs after starting the season 7-1. Chicago finished the 2012 season at 10-6, but were eliminated from the playoffs after Minnesota’s win over Green Bay on Sunday.

Smith was 81-63 in his eight seasons in Chicago and 3-3 in the playoffs. He and Tony Dungy were the first African-Americans to coach in the Super Bowl in 2006, a game Smith lost to longtime friend Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts.

Smith was a star linebacker for the Big Sandy Wildcats during their run of three straight state championships from 1973-75. He was part of one of the most dominating high school football programs in Texas history — the 1975 team scored a then-national record 824 points and allowed just 15 all season en route to a 14-0 record and a third straight Class B state title.

He played alongside the late David Overstreet, Big Sandy’s superstar running back who later played for the Oklahoma Sooners and Miami Dolphins.

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