Lovie Smith extended through 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Chicago Bears rewarded coach Lovie Smith with a two-year contract extension Friday following an 11-5 regular-season record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
Smith, who had one year left on an existing deal signed following the Bears' Super Bowl appearance in the 2006 season, is under contract through 2013. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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"Of course I feel great about the extension, like I have every day I've been on the job as the head coach of the Chicago Bears," Smith said Friday from the NFL combine in Indianapolis. "Great organization. We have great players who come to work every day. We have an excellent coaching staff. I'm in position to be here and get that extension based on what the players and our staff have done."
Entering the final year of a four-year, $22 million deal, Smith said he is satisfied with the length of the extension, which now coincides with the contract of general manager Jerry Angelo, who also is signed through 2013.
"I feel very comfortable having three years on my contract. It's plenty of time," Smith said. "I feel comfortable having all of us being connected together as far as the length of our contract. Again, I'm excited. It's exactly what I wanted."
Angelo said one of the positives of an extension for Smith is consistency in the organization.
"When we get into the free agent business, to have some stability with your staff, agents and players want to come into situations where there is going to be stability," Angelo said. "That is part of it. Not all players are determined by money. There are going to be a lot of players, particularly this year -- because there is going to be a bevy of players out there in free agency -- that are going to want to have some stability. That sometimes can be the tiebreaker. There are a lot of things that are positive that come from [getting Smith signed to an extension], and I feel like we have a good plan in order because our new coaches now have a year under their belts."
Angelo let it be known the organization wanted to extend Smith's deal the day after the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers 21-14 in the conference championship game.
"Jerry and I have worked together well," Smith said. "We feel like we have a good combination going, and we look forward to taking this next step."
Since coming to Chicago in 2004, Smith has won three NFC North titles and posted three seasons with double-digit wins (2005, 2006, 2010).
"We are real happy that it all worked out," Angelo said. "As we said at the end of the year, that was our goal and everybody can walk away satisfied. We are real happy that we were able to continue to continuity we have, not only with Lovie, but with our coaching staff."
Smith has a regular-season coaching record of 63-49 and is 3-3 in the postseason. His 66 wins are third-most in franchise history, trailing only George Halas and Mike Ditka.
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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