Falcons extend coach Mike Smith
Mike Smith, who's had a winning season in each of his three years as Falcons coach and has taken Atlanta to the playoffs twice, signed a three-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.
Smith had one year remaining on his original four-year contract that averaged $2.2 million a season. The new deal is expected to provide a hefty pay increase, although the team did not disclose financial details.
"We are pleased to extend Smitty's contract, and we are very proud of the way he represents the Falcons through his coaching of our players, in supporting our club's business goals, and through his caring for our fans and the community," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement announcing Smith's deal.
Smith was The Associated Press Coach of the Year following an 11-5 season in 2008. When he led the Falcons to a 9-7 mark in 2009 it marked the first consecutive winning years in franchise history.
Smith was a little-known defensive coordinator with Jacksonville when he initially signed with the Falcons in 2008, taking over a team coming off a dismal 4-12 season that included star quarterback Michael Vick going to prison and coach Bobby Petrino leaving the team after just 13 games.
"I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have in place within our organization and on our football team," Smith said in the statement. "I'd like to personally thank both Arthur and [general manager] Thomas Dimitroff for their outstanding support and guidance. We are going to continue to work as hard as we can to bring a championship to Falcons fans and to the city of Atlanta."
The Falcons were 13-3 this season and had the NFC's best record but lost to the Green Bay Packers 48-21 at home in the divisional round.
Smith has a cumulative record of 33-15, easily the best three-year coaching mark in franchise history. The only blemish on his résumé is an 0-2 mark in the playoffs.
Dimitroff also is expected to receive a contract extension this offseason, sources told ESPN.com.
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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