Lovie Smith Talks About Fending Off Wild Monkeys in Costa Rica


Following his introductory press conference Monday as new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith joined several members of the local media for a meet-and-greet at One Buc Place.

There, he detailed what he’d been up to in his year away from football, including a wild adventure involving wild monkeys, a machete (and barbecue) in Costa Rica. This happened last year, after Smith had been let go as head coach of the Chicago Bears.

“Initially, I was like, ‘We’re going to get away,’ so we rented this house in Costa Rica for a couple months. We get out there. It [was] remote but not quite in the rainforest,” Smith explained.

Sounds like a relaxing getaway.

“The first couple of days we were there, we saw a couple of small, white-faced monkeys. About day 6, we heard the howler monkeys. Day 8, they come in, with the back door open, they came in…and a few days before, my son Mikal said, “Dad, a monkey is four times stronger than a man, so be careful.'”

Smith continued, “So about that time, I kept a machete in the back, just in case, because you’re out in the rainforest and I had my wife [MaryAnne] there. So by day 9, I had barbecued a little bit earlier in the day and I looked up, and there were two big, barreled monkeys, standing up on the table with their teeth showing.”

“I said, ‘This is not going to end well [laughs].’ I got done. I didn’t have to kill one of the monkeys. I pushed them out of the house and we packed up that day and got out.”

He then asked, “Have you ever heard a howler monkey?”

 (Writer’s note: No, but at this point, the room is howling with laughter).

“They’ve got a terrifying sound.”

(Room is still howling).

“So anyway, I didn’t have to kill any monkeys and we were able to get out of there. We left on day nine of a 50-day stay [laughs]. After that, MaryAnne said, ‘Okay, let’s go somewhere else, we’ve got a little bit of time.’ I said, ‘Hey we’re going to Tampa.’ So we’re down on the beach, down here in Tampa. We spent a little bit of our time down here.”