Buccaneers defensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is among candidates to be considered for the team’s next head coach after Lovie Smith was fired this week, Bucs General Manager Jason Licht said Thursday in a news conference.
“There’s a lot of quality football coaches that are going to be available,” Licht said. “Dirk Koetter is one of those.”
Licht detailed how he delivered the news to Smith on Wednesday in what he described as one of the "most challenging days in my career both personally and professionally."
The former head coach learned of his firing earlier than the organization had planned.
The owners communicated the decision to Licht on Wednesday in a phone call. When Smith called Licht later, Licht said, he broke the news out of “respect for Lovie as a friend.”
“I let him know that ownership was planning on getting together with him today (Thursday), and I wanted to let him know that I didn’t think it wasn’t going to go in a very good direction, and let him know what it was,” he said.
Watch the full news conference in the player above
Smith asked Licht to have Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer call him. Glazer asked Smith to meet Thursday but “Lovie gracefully declined,” Licht said, telling Glazer, “I would just rather do it this way.”
Smith cleaned out his office Wednesday.
“I think when you have eight wins in two years, three home wins in two years, I think they’ve been patient enough,” Licht said of the organization. “It does take time, but when you’re building a good football team you can compete.”