Norris leaves

The entire coaching staff looked as if they would return for the 2003 campaign, but the only change came at a coach's request. <!--Default NodeId For Chicago is 115,2005--><A HREF=>Bears</A> defensive line coach Rex Norris has decided to pursue opportunities closer to his family after his one-year contract expires in February. The 38-year coaching veteran spent the last four seasons in Chicago.

"I elected to sign a one-year contract last year in hopes of returning to the Southwest and coaching closer to where my family and grandchildren are," Norris said. "I've enjoyed coaching a bunch of great guys here and working with an excellent coaching staff. This is a great football city with outstanding fans. I'll leave a lot of good friends here, but I felt it was time for me to return home and be closer to my family."

Norris joined the Bears coaching staff in 1999 after a four-year tenure with the Tennessee Oilers (1995-98). In addition to coaching 12 seasons in the NFL, Norris spent 26 years in the college ranks including an 11-year stay with Oklahoma (1973-83).

"Rex has been a valuable contributor to our staff both on and off the field," Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron said. "He is a tireless worker who has done a tremendous job both coaching veterans and developing young players. We were lucky to have him with us for four years and wish he and his family the very best."

Chuck Bullough, who is the assistant defensive line and special teams coach, is the frontrunner to fill the hole left by Norris. Bullough was nearly named the linebackers coach last season, until the team decided to go with the more experienced Gary Moeller.

There is an outside shot that the team could also shift Moeller to d-line coach, which is were he started his coaching career, and go after Mike Singletary to be the linebackers coach.

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