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Lovie Smith "expected" to be Illinois head coach

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini are expected to hire Lovie Smith as their next head coach. That's what several outlets are reporting, including Ryan Baker of CBS 2 and Bruce Feldman of Fox SportsAccording to Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida, Smith is lining up staff members for the job.

Lovie Smith was fired after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 2-14 and a 6-10 seasons, having been hired in 2014. While he was expected to produce an excellent defense, it never rose above middling during his time in Tampa. That was especially problematic in his second season with the Bucs, when multiple players regressed after he took over playcalling duties from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Smith hasn't been a college coach since the 1990s, when he worked as a linebackers and defensive backs coach at several colleges, including Ohio State. Whether he can adjust to the college game will be interesting.