The Illinois coach Lovie Smith, makes a return to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Smith returns after a 22 year absence. His prior appointment was as the assistant coach and a lot has happened since this time.
In those 22 years, Smith has coached for several teams in the NFL including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the St. Louis Rams, and the Chicago Bears. Before making his way to the NFL he spent a brief season coaching for Ohio in 1995.
However, the 59 year old coach has made a return to college ball in what is now his second season as head coach with Illinois. Smith is looking forward to being back in the Buckeyes stadium when his team competes against the Buckeyes in Saturday's game.
Smith has fond memories of his time with the Buckeyes. He fondly recalls working John Cooper and the amazing traditions of Ohio State. He also recalled his time coaching several defensive backs for Ohio that would go on to the NFL like Ty Howard and Antoine Winfield.
Even though prospects for Illinois are bleak, it does not change his enthusiasm to face off against the Buckeyes. His team has endured eight consecutive defeats and even though they are the underdogs he is sure that they will gain from their time in the Buckeyes stadium.
The first time collegiate head coach has yet to face Ohio State and their coach Urban Meyer. However, the two have previously faced off in the NFL. Meyer is sure to present a tough team, for Smith, in his typical fashion.
2017 Ohio State Football: Illinois Trailer