One of the NFL’s brightest and most experienced coaching minds decided to retire today, on June 6, 2022.
Long-time special teams and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who also served as the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, spent 50 years in the business and 39 in the NFL.
He announced his retirement in a formal statement.
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Crennel: ‘I Have Been Able to Live out My Dream’
The Houston Texans Twitter account relayed Crennel’s farewell:
Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years. 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 my dream. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to spend more time with my grandchildren while staying around the game of football.
The Chiefs organization tweeted out an acknowledgment later in the day. It read: “Congratulations on an outstanding career, Coach Crennel!”
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Looking Back on Crennel’s Career
Chiefs Kingdom might remember Crennel best as the interim head coach that took over for Todd Haley in 2011 after a turbulent 5-8 start. He led KC to a 2-1 finish that year before a rocky 2-14 campaign in 2012.
Of course, the legendary teacher was better known for his ability as a special teams and defensive coordinator, as well as a top-notch coaching assistant.
Crennel began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with Western Kentucky in 1970. He did not make it to the NFL until 1981, 12 years later, when he joined the Giants organization under head coach Ray Perkins.
This Big Blue team had what turned out to be a legendary staff. Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells was the defensive coordinator with future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick and Crennel as special teams/defensive assistants.
After finally leaving the Giants in 1993, Crennel rejoined Parcells in New England as a defensive coordinator. He then followed Parcells back to New York once again in 1997 after a Super Bowl season in 1996, this time coaching for the Jets. That coaching staff also included some big names, like the aforementioned Haley, as well as Charlie Weis and Eric Mangini.
Crennel split from Parcells in the year 2000 to become a defensive coordinator again — with the Browns. After one year, he took the same position back in New England after Belichick became the head coach of the Patriots and was named Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.
That earned him a head coaching job with Cleveland in 2005, the first of his illustrious career. Crennel’s best season was a 10-6 campaign in 2007 that fell just short of the playoffs. He was fired after 2008.
That’s when he rejoined Haley and Weis in Kansas City, before finishing his career as a Texan. In 2021, Crennel held the title of “Senior Advisor for Football Performance,” the final NFL role of his long and successful career.