Romeo Crennel has been a football coach for 50 years. He’s been an NFL coach for 39 years. But on Monday he announced his retirement, ending a career that included five Super Bowl championships.
“Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years,” said Crennel 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.”
One of the most decorated assistant coaches in NFL history, 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).
“My family and the entire Houston Texans organization would like to congratulate Romeo Crennel on his historic coaching career,” said Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair. “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.”
Crennel’s last eight years in the league were with the Houston Texans as a defensive coordinator (2014-16), assistant head coach (2017-19), associate head coach (2020), interim head coach (2020) and senior advisor for football performance (2021). In 2020, after his promotion to interim coach, a 73-year-old 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.
Crennel, who turns 75 on June 18, was clearly more successful as a position coach and coordinator than as a head coach. He compiled a 32-63 record as head coach in Cleveland, Kansas City and Houston.
Crennel’s best season as a head coach was 2007 when the Browns finished 10-6 in his third of four years with the team.
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