Mother of Bears coach Lovie Smith dies in Texas hospital

GLADEWATER, Texas -- The mother of Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has died in a Texas hospital at the age of 77.

Mae Smith had long suffered from diabetes. Gregory Dearion of Dearion & Davis Funeral Parlor in Gladewater said Smith's funeral is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas. Dearion said Smith's husband died in 1996.

Born in the small East Texas town of Big Sandy, Mae Evelyn Chalk Smith was a longtime resident of nearby Tyler. In a 2007 interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph, she said she had been a Dallas Cowboys fan until her son became the Bears' coach.

Lovie Smith, a former University of Tulsa football star, led the Bears to that year's Super Bowl, in which they lost to the Indianapolis Colts.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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