Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith is the latest NFL figure to express condolences for Michael McCaskey’s death.

Smith tweeted this thread on Sunday morning, explaining how important McCaskey was to Smith’s development as a head coach in the NFL.

McCaskey and the Bears gave Smith his first head coaching opportunity. After coaching the Bears for nine seasons, he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons. He’s currently the head coach of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.

In his nine seasons with the Bears, Smith led the team to an 81-63 record, three playoff appearances and one Super Bowl berth.

The Bears announced McCaskey died on Saturday afternoon. He was 76 years old.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.