|Position:||Senior advisor for football performance|
|Born:||June 18, 1947|
|High school:||Fort Knox (KY)|
|As a coach:|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||32-63 (.337)|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Romeo Crennel (born June 18, 1947) is an American football coach who is the senior advisor for football performance for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs, as well an assistant coach for six NFL teams and four college teams. He also has over 40 years of coaching experience, which has included consistently being employed as a coach for all but two seasons since 1970, only taking the 2009 and 2013 seasons off following both of his tenures as a head coach. He has five Super Bowl wins as assistant coach, two with the New York Giants and three with the New England Patriots.
Crennel played baseball and football at Fort Knox (Ky.) High School and Amherst County (Va.) High School before committing to college football at Western Kentucky. Although he was a four-year starter as a defensive lineman, he became an offensive lineman during his senior season at the request of the coaching staff. He was named the team's MVP after the switch but was not drafted and never played in the NFL. While the move did hinder his draft chances,[according to whom?] it increased his knowledge of the game, by experiencing the trenches from both the offensive and defensive side of the football. Crennel earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Western Kentucky University, and then a master's degree while serving as a graduate assistant for the school in 1970.
After one season as a graduate assistant with Western Kentucky (1970), Crennel served as the defensive line coach for three seasons (1971-1974).
After spending two seasons as an assistant with the New York Giants, Crennel became the special teams coach for seven seasons (1983-1989) and the defensive line coach for three seasons (1990-1992). In 1983, he was reunited with Parcells as the head coach.
Crennel left the Giants after the 1992 season and worked as the defensive line coach for the New England Patriots for four seasons (1993-1996) and for the New York Jets for three seasons (1997-1999) during the time that Parcells was the head coach in each franchise.
After one season in Cleveland, he filled the same role with the Patriots for four seasons (2001-2004) under long-time friend Bill Belichick. The two had worked together on the Giants from 1981 to 1990 and had served on Parcells' staffs in New England and the Jets from 1993 to 1999. Crennel helped lead New England to three Super Bowl victories (XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX).
Before beginning the 2003 playoffs with the Patriots, Crennel interviewed for head coaching positions with six teams in under 36 hours. He was not offered any jobs and was passed up by the New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills, the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears, and the Atlanta Falcons.
Crennel was hired to replace Butch Davis as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He went 24-40 in his tenure with the Browns. His team went 6-10 and 4-12 in his first two seasons with the Browns, finishing last or tied for last in the AFC North and missing the playoffs each year. The Browns finished the 2007 season with a 10-6 record, just falling short of making the playoffs-only the franchise's second winning season since its revival in 1999. Crennel's success in the 2007 season earned him a two-year contract extension in January 2008.
On January 13, 2010, Crennel was hired as the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator, reuniting him with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and general manager Scott Pioli from their days with the Patriots.
Following Todd Haley's termination as the team's head coach after 13 games in the 2011 season, Crennel was named the team's interim head coach for the remaining three games of the season. Crennel won his first game as the interim head coach of the Chiefs on December 18, 2011 against the then undefeated Green Bay Packers 19-14, which was significant as Crennel snapped the Packers' 19-game winning streak and ended their hopes for a perfect season. Crennel finished his stint as interim head coach with a 2-1 record. However, in his tenure as a head coach for the Chiefs, Crennel would only win 2 more games finishing with a 4-15 overall record.
On January 9, 2012 Crennel was named the 11th full-time head coach in Chiefs history. Three days later, Crennel announced his intent to remain as defensive coordinator during his tenure as head coach.
On December 1, 2012, Crennel attempted to prevent the suicide of player Jovan Belcher by talking to him and witnessed his death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The following day, Crennel coached his team to a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Chiefs' first home victory since defeating the Packers the previous season, and the only other home win during his tenure.
On December 31, 2012, Crennel was fired as head coach.
On January 20, 2014, Crennel signed a 3-year deal with the NFL's Houston Texans becoming their new defensive coordinator under their new head coach Bill O'Brien. He was one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in the NFL for three seasons (2014-2016), earning roughly $1.8 million per year. Crennel finished the 2016 year with the NFL's #1 ranked defense and in January 2017 was promoted to Assistant Head Coach. On January 20, 2018, he returned to his role as defensive coordinator for the Texans after Mike Vrabel left to become head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Crennel was named the interim head coach for the Texans on October 5, 2020 after O'Brien was fired following an 0-4 start to begin the 2020 NFL season. In his first game as interim head coach, at the age of 73 years and 115 days, he became the oldest head coach in National Football League history, a game the Texans won 30-14 over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Crennel also became the Texans' first African American head coach in franchise history, albeit on an interim basis. Crennel was retained with a new coaching staff in 2021, being given the title of senior advisor for football performance on March 10, 2021.
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CLE||2005||6||10||0||.375||3rd in AFC North||--||--||--||--|
|CLE||2006||4||12||0||.250||4th in AFC North||--||--||--||--|
|CLE||2007||10||6||0||.625||2nd in AFC North||--||--||--||--|
|CLE||2008||4||12||0||.250||4th in AFC North||--||--||--||--|
|KC*||2011||2||1||0||.667||4th in AFC West||--||--||--||--|
|KC||2012||2||14||0||.125||4th in AFC West||--||--||--||--|
|HOU*||2020||4||8||0||.333||3rd in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
* - Interim head coach
Crennel had hip replacement surgery in early 2009 and decided to sit out the 2009 football season while recuperating.