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Pep Hamilton likely to become Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator if Lovie Smith hired as HC

Matt Johnson
Pep Hamilton, Houston Texans
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

If the Houston Texans move forward with Lovie Smith as their next head coach, coveted assistant Pep Hamilton could also be in line for a significant promotion.

The Texans’ coaching search seemed to be narrowing on Josh McCown, Brian Flores and Jonathan Gannon. But everything changed Sunday when reports surfaced that the organization is currently in talks with Smith, its associate head coach and defensive coordinator.

Smith joined David Culley’s coaching staff in 2020 after coaching the Illinois Fighting Illini from 2016-’20. While no other NFL team interviewed the 63-year-old for their coaching vacancy, there is now an increasing chance he takes over as Houston’s head coach.

According to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop, Smith would promote quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton to offensive coordinator if he is named head coach.

While the Texans are still reportedly considering Flores and McCown, Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reports that Smith will have a strong chance to be hired if he nails the interview on Monday.

Keeping Hamilton in Houston would be a win for the Texans. He is already drawing interest from Doug Pederson as a candidate to become the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator. He’s also received inquiries from other NFL teams this offseason.

With Hamilton as quarterbacks coach, rookie Davis Mills greatly surpassed expectations in 2021. He also played an instrumental role in Justin Herbert‘s instant success as a rookie in 2020.