Longtime NFL assistant and head coach Romeo Crennel announced on Monday that he is retiring. The 74-year-old had been with the Houston Texans organization since 2014, serving as defensive coordinator, assistant head coach, interim head coach and senior advisor for football performance.
Crennel dedicated a half-century to coaching the game of football in the college ranks and pros, and said in a statement via the Texans' official website that he's looking forward to spending more time with his family.
"Football has been my entire life and it's been a dream come true to coach for 50 years," Crennel said in a statement. "There are so many friends to thank who have helped me and supported me throughout my career. I especially want to thank the fans and owners of the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans for allowing me to contribute to the game that I have loved so much for so long. I'll miss everything about coaching and teaching, but the thing I'll miss the most is being around the guys every day. My goal was to put every player and coach in the best position to succeed and I consider every guy I coached or worked with a part of my family. I would also want to thank my wife Rosemary and my three daughters, Lisa, Tiffany and Kristine, for all of their support over the years. Because of their love and selflessness, I have been able to live out my dream. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to spend more time with my grandchildren while staying around the game of football."
Crennel got his start in the NFL with the Giants in 1981, and would go on to work for five other organizations. According to the Texans' website, Crennel was a part of 17 playoff appearances, 13 division titles, six conference titles and was on the winning side of five of the six Super Bowls he coached in.
While he was a legendary assistant, Crennel spent many years as a lead man as well. He called the shots as head coach in 95 NFL games with the Browns, Chiefs and Texans, finishing with a record of 32-63. His best season as a head coach came in 2007 with Cleveland, as the Browns went 10-6. Crennel went 4-8 during his time as Houston's interim head coach in 2020, and became the oldest person in NFL history to serve as a head coach at age 73.
"My family and the entire Houston Texans organization would like to congratulate Romeo Crennel on his historic coaching career," Texans CEO Cal McNair said in a statement. "After 50 seasons, Romeo retires as one of the most respected figures in NFL history. 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. He has impacted and influenced so many players, coaches and staff members over the last five decades and we're honored he spent the last eight seasons with us. 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."