|Date of birth||January 7, 1943|
|Place of birth||Los Angeles, California|
|Position(s)||Offensive Line Coach
|Team(s) as a player|
|Team(s) as a coach/administrator|
Hudson Houck (born January 7, 1943) is the former offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. A veteran of over two decades of football coaching experience, Houck was re-hired by the Cowboys after being let go by the Miami Dolphins. Houck retired on January 10, 2012.
Playing career and coaching beginnings
In 1970 Houck coached the freshmen team at Southern California, and after two years he became the offensive line coach at Stanford. There he coached the first Stanford 2-time All Pac-8 offensive guard, Alex Karakozoff and sent several players to the NFL including Gary Anderson, Bill Reid and tutoring eventual All-American and first round NFL draft pick Gordon King.
Houck returned to his alma mater in 1976, coaching the offensive line at Southern California. During this time, he helped send numerous Trojans to the National Football League including Marvin Powell, Pat Howell, Brad Budde, Anthony Muñoz, Keith Van Horne, Chris Foote, Roy Foster, Bruce Matthews, Don Mosebar and Tony Slaton, among others. This group helped lead the way for Heisman Trophy-winning running backs Charles White and Marcus Allen, in addition to another USC great, Ricky Bell, an NFL first-round draft choice in 1977.
Pro coaching career
Los Angeles Rams
Houck's first pro coaching experience came with the Los Angeles Rams, where he coached the offensive line from 1983 to 1991. In his nine years with the team the Rams had 1,000-yard rushers seven seasons, highlighted by Eric Dickerson's record-setting 2,105 yards in 1984. During Houck's tenure, five Rams offensive linemen combined for 21 Pro Bowl appearances, including Jackie Slater (7), Doug Smith (6), Kent Hill (3), Dennis Harrah (3) and Tom Newberry (2). In Houck's final three years with the team, Rams quarterback Jim Everett threw for more yards than any passer in that span and did not miss a start.
Houck spent one season as offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 1992. Seahawks running back Chris Warren logged the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career with Houck tutoring his blockers.
Houck spent the next nine years coaching the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys. At times during Houck's tenure the Cowboys' line was one of the most dominant in the history of the game. The 203 sacks they allowed in nine years under Houck were the fewest of any NFL team in that span. Six offensive linemen earned 22 trips to the Pro Bowl under Houck, including Larry Allen (7), Nate Newton (5), Erik Williams (4), Ray Donaldson (2), Mark Stepnoski (2) and Mark Tuinei (2). Future Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith earned a pair of rushing titles during Houck's tenure, and rushed for over 1,000 yards every season. Houck was also the assistant head coach from 1994 to 1997.
San Diego Chargers
With the San Diego Chargers from 2002 to 2004, Houck transformed one of the league's worst offensive lines to one of the best. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for more than 1,300 yards in each of Houck's three seasons with the team. With five new starters on the line in 2004, the Chargers ranked tenth in total offense and sixth in rushing. The Chargers allowed fewer than 25 sacks per season under Houck.
Houck was lured away from the Chargers by former Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban with a three-year contract worth $2.5 million. The contract made him the second highest paid offensive line coach in the NFL at the time, behind only Alex Gibbs with the Atlanta Falcons. During his first year with the Dolphins in 2005, Houck's offensive line ranked fourth in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed, cutting their number in half from the previous year. In 2007, Houck was reunited with then Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron. Houck and Cameron worked together in San Diego when Cameron was offensive coordinator for the Chargers.
Return to Dallas
After the Dolphins' disastrous 1-15 campaign in 2007, Houck was fired along with most of the Dolphins' coaching staff by incoming Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells. Jerry Jones quickly re-hired Houck when Parcells hired Cowboys line coach Tony Sparano to serve as the Dolphins' head coach.