Bears cut ties with Smith

Updated: December 31, 2012

The Chicago Bears parted ways with head coach Lovie Smith on Monday.

Smith, who led the Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, was hired in
2004 and went 81-63 over nine regular seasons.

Chicago began the season 7-1, but closed the campaign 3-5 and missed the
postseason for the fifth time in six years. The Bears were denied a playoff
bid when the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

The Bears reached the NFC Championship Game after the 2010 season before
losing to the Packers, but poor finishes by Chicago over its last two seasons
has kept it out of the playoffs.

Chicago began 2011 7-3 until quarterback Jay Cutler got hurt, and the Bears
never recovered and concluded the campaign with an 8-8 record.

Smith was also criticized for his inability to defeat the Packers, who have
won eight of their last nine and six straight against Chicago.