Lovie Smith has been officially announced as the new head coach of Fighting Illini football. The university will hold an introductory press conference at 2:00pm CT on Monday to officially introduce the former Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach.
Smith has agreed to a six-year, $21 million deal with the program. He'll be paid $2 million annually for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, $3 million in 2018, $4 million in 2019, and $5 million for both 2020 and 2021. According to the press release, Smith will also have incentives tied team academic and athletic achievements.
The Illinois Board of Trustees will meet to approve Smith's contract on March 16.
Smith is still owed $10 million from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the next two years, so they'll be paying the difference between the two salaries ($3 million). That's allowing Illinois to backload the contract, which will in turn provide Smith with more funds to hire a coaching staff. So, overall, this seems to be a pretty nice contract for both sides.
For more on this developing story, check out our Lovie Smith news feed.