Lovie Smith's first coaching job was in 1980 at his high school in Big Sandy. One more high school stop and six college jobs later he would get his first opportunity in the NFL.
And it was a job interview at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that landed him the gig.
"I was a secondary coach at Ohio State and we finish our season and (Tampa Bay Defensive Coordinator) Monte Kiffin calls me and says 'Can you meet me at the Combine?'" he told us on Texans Radio.
Smith made the two-and-a-half-hour drive down I-70 to Indianapolis to visit an event that he would attend for the better part of the next two-and-a-half decades.
"Then, it was in the RCA Dome. Monte Kiffin had a little side room. I didn't see any of the Combine. Three hours later we finished and he said 'Good job, I'll get back with you later.'"
Smith drove back to Columbus to await the verdict of the interview.
"Later on, that night, they called me and said 'Hey, we want you to come to Tampa.'"
That would put Smith on Tony Dungy's staff as a linebackers coach for the next five years before he became the Rams' defensive coordinator in 2001.
The NFL Combine has changed a lot since Smith was first introduced to it and he says it's for the better. "Everything is better, the technology is better. We can get so much valuable information that helps us make great decisions."
The NFL Combine continues through the weekend.
Take a look at Head Coach Lovie Smith's first day on the job!