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Bears fire Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith talks about the injury to quarterback Jay Cutler at a news conference in Lake Forest, Ill., Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. Cutler has a broken thumb on his right throwing hand and will undergo surgery, putting his status for the rest of the year in question. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

AP

Missing the playoffs for the second straight year has cost Bears coach Lovie Smith his job.

The Bears have fired Smith this morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The move comes a day after the team finished its second consecutive season out of the playoffs.

Although the Bears won their final two games to finish 10-6 and remain until playoff contention until Sunday afternoon, the Vikings beating the Packers to take the final wild card spot sealed Smith’s fate.

Smith made the playoffs three times and reached the Super Bowl once in Chicago, but he missed the playoffs in five of his last six seasons, and as a result he will not be back. Chicago will look for a new coach, and Smith will look for a new job.