Smith brings former Ohio State staffers to Buccs

Jan 6, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith is introduced as head coach during a press conference at One Buccaneer Place.  

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Lovie Smith tapped two men he worked with at Ohio State when filling out his new coaching staff for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — running backs coach Tim Spencer and head strength and conditioning coach Dave Kennedy.

All three were part of John Cooper’s Buckeye staff in 1995 when the Scarlet and Gray went 11-2 and finished No. 6 in the Associated Press poll.

That was the only year in Columbus for Smith. He became linebackers coach for the Buccaneers in 1996 but not before mentoring a starting secondary that included future NFL draft picks Shawn Springs, Ty Howard and Rob Kelly.

Kennedy was the head strength coach at Ohio State from 1989-2001, a period of time in which more than 60 Buckeyes were drafted.

Spencer coached five players to six 1,000-yard seasons as running backs coach for his alma mater from 1994-2003, including 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George. An OSU star in his own right from 1979-82, Spencer is still No. 3 on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,553 yards, a mark bettered only by George and Archie Griffin.