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|Bears coach to speak in Monroe|
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith will be the special guest speaker at a fundraiser at Parkview Baptist Church Saturday.
The event will benefit the Family Promise of Ouachita, a group of 16 Ouachita Parish churches who are banding together to help provide homeless families shelter for a week at a time. This is the first time this particular event has been held.
"We had the opportunity to get Smith at this time so we took advantage of it," said Guy Barr, who is a spokesperson for the event.
The program will begin at 9:30 a.m., at Parkview and will include a brunch. Tickets cost $30 each and can be purchased at the Parkview Baptist Church office on Forsythe Ave. in Monroe. Barr said there was a possibility of other pro football players coming to the event.
Smith, who hails from Big Sandy, Texas, took over the Bears head coaching job in January of 2004.
His immediate goals have already been met except for one. The Bears have not yet won the Super Bowl. They have been there since Smith took over. The Bears defeated the Saints for the NFC championship and advanced to their first Super Bowl in 21 years.
What made the Bears so successful was establishing his cornerstone of aggressive defensive play.
This has worked brilliantly as Chicago has moved up to second in the rankings on defense trailing only the Baltimore Ravens. Over the past three seasons, no NFL team has scored a higher percentage of its points off opponent turnovers than Chicago.
The Bears have also become known as a team who bounces back. They have rallied from a deficit. In 17 of their 31 victories since Smith has been at the helm.
Smith has earned the Associated Press Coach of the Year for 2005 after winning the division title in his first season.
Prior to moving to Chicago, Smith has coached for 25 seasons at various levels, beginning at the high school level at his home town in Texas.
Smith has also coached at St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the pro ranks, and he has coached at the University of Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio State.
When he's not coaching football, he participates in several worthy causes, including the American Diabetes Association.