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Romeo Crennel retires after 50 seasons of coaching

Aug 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Romeo Crennel announced his retirement Monday after 50 years of coaching in college and the NFL.

Crennel, who turns 75 later this month, had been with the Houston Texans since 2014.

“Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years,” he said in a statement shared by the Texans on social media. “… I’ll miss everything about coaching and teaching, but the thing I’ll miss the most is being around the guys every day.”

During his 39 seasons in the NFL, Crennel served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns (2005-08) and Kansas City Chiefs (2012). He was also interim coach of the Chiefs for three games in 2011 and for 12 games with the Texans in 2020. Crennel’s overall career record is 32-63.

He was an NFL defensive coordinator with the Browns (2000), New England Patriots (2001-04), Chiefs (2010-11), and Texans (2014-16, 2018-19).

Crennel coached in the college ranks at Western Kentucky, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech from 1970-80 before breaking into the NFL as the New York Giants’ special teams coach from 1981-89. After three seasons as the Giants’ defensive line coach (1990-92), he held the same role with the Patriots (1993-96) and New York Jets (1997-99).

Crennel’s teams won five Super Bowl championships — two by the Giants (Super Bowls XXI and XXV) and three by the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX).

In his final season with the Texans in 2021, Crennel’s title was senior adviser for football performance.

“After 50 seasons, Romeo retires as one of the most respected figures in NFL history,” Texans chair and CEO Cal McNair said. “His incredible resume and contributions to the game of football will be difficult to duplicate. Romeo poured everything he had into his players and led his teams with hard work, diligence and integrity.

“… Our organization is better because of Romeo Crennel in so many ways. He will always be a Texan and we wish him, his wife Rosemary and his family nothing but the best in all that retirement brings.”

Crennel said he is planning to spend more time with his grandchildren in retirement.

–Field Level Media