Crennel, the longtime assistant for the Houston Texans, announced his retirement Monday prior to the start of the 2022 season.
Crennel spent the past 50 years coaching football, including a 39-year stint at the professional level.
Crennel’s career started as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky in 1970 where he was promoted to defensive line coach after one season. He went on to work as a college assistant at Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech before getting his first NFL job as an assistant with the Giants in 1981.
Crennel was a part of 17 playoff appearances with 13 division crowns, six conference titles and has won five of the six Super Bowls he has appeared in (New York Giants – XXI and XXV, New England Patriots – XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX). He spent the last eight seasons in Houston, serving in a variety of different roles during that span, including defensive coordinator (2014-16), assistant head coach (2017-19), associate head coach (2020) and interim head coach (2020)
Following the firing of Bill O’Brien during the team’s 0-4 start in 2020, Crennel took over as the team’s interim head coach. At the age of 73, Crennel became the oldest person in NFL history to serve as a head coach in a game, a record previously held by former Chicago Bears head coach/owner and NFL co-founder George Halas in 1967.
“Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years,” Crennel said in a statement released by the Texans. “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.”
“My family and the entire Houston Texans organization would like to congratulate Romeo Crennel on his historic coaching career,” Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said. “After 50 seasons, Romeo retires as one of the most respected figures in NFL history. His incredible résumé 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.”