Bears name Mike Tice offensive coordinator

Here’s the text of the official release:


LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears promoted Mike Tice today, making him their offensive coordinator. Tice has spent the last two seasons as the Bears offensive line coach. This season, the Bears offensive line helped a Bears rushing attack produce 2,015 yards, just the second time they have eclipsed the 2,000-yard rushing mark in the last 21 seasons. The Bears 4.4 rushing average was highest for the franchise since 1990.

“I’m excited to have Mike move into our offensive coordinator role,” said Head Coach Lovie Smith. “He has been a valuable member of our staff over the past two years and has an excellent track record in the NFL. He was very impressive in his job interview yesterday and shares the same vision I have for our offense moving forward. We want to be a strong running team with a big-play pass attack. Mike will call plays for us and continue to have an active role with our offensive line. To complete our staff we will be hiring a passing coordinator who will work with our quarterbacks and an offensive line coach.”

“Lovie and I share a similar mindset of what the Bears offense should look and feel like,” Tice said. “There will be a toughness about us. We are going to be a powerful run team and we’re going to be able to mix in explosive pass plays. It will be important for us to utilize the talents of our players and exploit match-ups each Sunday. We have athletes we can build with. I feel fortunate Lovie has placed the trust in me to help move us forward to a championship.”

Prior to his time with the Bears, the 15-year NFL coaching veteran spent the previous four seasons in Jacksonville (2006-09) as the Jaguars assistant head coach, overseeing the tight ends for the final three years. In Tice’s first two seasons in Jacksonville, the Jaguars rushing attack had the two of the most productive seasons in team history, gaining 2,541 yards in 2006 and 2,391 yards in 2007, first and third respectively in team annals. Jacksonville set franchise records in 2007 for points (411), average yards per play (5.6) and touchdowns (50).

Before joining the Jaguars, Tice spent 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a player and coach. After playing tight end for three seasons (1992-93, ‘95), he worked as tight ends coach in 1996 and offensive line coach from 1997-2001, before being promoted to head coach.

Tice compiled a 33-34 record as head coach, including 1-1 in the playoffs.

During his tenure as head coach of the Vikings, Tice helped lead Minnesota to a record of .500 or better in three of four seasons. In 2004, the Vikings offense established franchise records in total net yards (6,339) and passing yards (4,754) and the 50 touchdowns are fourth most in team history. The Vikings won their first road playoff game since 1997 during the postseason that year and three Minnesota players were named to the Pro Bowl (C Matt Birk, QB Daunte Culpepper and DT Kevin Williams).

A year earlier (2003), the Vikings had their first winning season since 2000 and the team led the NFL in offense for the first time in franchise history (6,294 yards).

In his first year as head coach in 2002, Minnesota led the NFL in rushing for the first time in franchise history with 2,507 yards.

During Tice’s tenure as head coach, the Vikings established an NFL record for most consecutive games with over 300 yards of offense with 36 from 2002-04.