HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans might not have much to celebrate going into 2021, but Romeo Crennel certainly does. Crennel, entering his eighth season with the Texans, was voted into the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame Thursday afternoon.
Crennel, 74, is one of six members of the Class of 2021 that’ll be inducted in Louisville on Sept. 7. He also begins a new role in the Texans' front office, serving as the team’s senior advisor for football performance under new general manager Nick Caserio.
Crennel has served many roles inside of NRG Stadium, his biggest calling the shots as the Texans’ defensive coordinator. Last season, he took over as interim coach when Bill O’Brien was fired after an 0-4 start.
A native of Virginia, Crennel's family moved to Kentucky before high school. There, he would commit and play at Western Kentucky, where he was a four-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines.
Crennel stayed at the program in 1970 as a graduate assistant. He'd become Western Kentucky defensive line coach in 1971 and stayed until 1975 when he moved to Texas Tech. There, he would meet another influential coach in his life, Bill Parcells.
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The two were reunited with the New York Giants in 1981 under Ray Perkins before Parcells was hired as head coach in 1983. Crennel primarily worked special teams, but later returned to the defensive line in 1992.
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For his career, Crennel has won five Super Bowls as an assistant with both the New England Patriots and Giants. He's also been given his chance to coach his own roster with both the Cleveland Browns (2005-08) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2012).
Crennel joined the Texans in 2014 as O’Brien’s first defensive coordinator, but later would move to an assistant role in favor of current Titans and former Texans' defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. He'd return to the role in 2018 and remain the primary coordinator until the end of the 2019 season.
The Crennel family still calls Kentucky home as his wife, Rosemary, is a Louisville native. The Texans report to training camp on July 28.
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