|Position:||Assistant head coach|
|Date of birth:||June 18, 1947|
|Place of birth:||Lynchburg, Virginia|
|High school:||Fort Knox (KY)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||28–55 (.337)|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Romeo "Rac" Crennel (born June 18, 1947) is an American football coach who is the assistant head coach for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). Though he has spent much of his career as a defensive assistant, he has also been the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs. On January 20, 2014, he became the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. He was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2017 season.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Coaching career
- 2.1 College
- 2.2 National Football League
- 2.3 Head coaching record
- 2.4 Coaching tree
- 3 Personal life
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Crennel played baseball and football at Fort Knox (Ky.) High School and Amherst County (Va.) High School before committing to college football at Western Kentucky. Although he was a four-year starter as a defensive lineman, he became an offensive lineman during his senior season at the request of the coaching staff. He was named the team's MVP after the switch but was not drafted and never played in the NFL. While the move did hinder his draft chances, it increased his knowledge of the game, by experiencing the trenches from both the offensive and defensive side of the football. Crennel earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Western Kentucky University, and then a master's degree while serving as a graduate assistant for the school in 1970.
Western Kentucky University
After one season as a graduate assistant with Western Kentucky (1970), Crennel served as the defensive line coach for three seasons (1971–1974).
Ole Miss and Georgia Tech
National Football League
New York Giants
After spending two seasons as an assistant with the New York Giants, Crennel became the special teams coach for seven seasons (1983–1989) and the defensive line coach for three seasons (1990–1992). In 1983, he was reunited with Parcells as the head coach.
New England Patriots and New York Jets
Crennel left the Giants after the 1992 season and worked as the defensive line coach for the New England Patriots for four seasons (1993–1996) and for the New York Jets for three seasons (1997–1999) during the time that Parcells was the head coach in each franchise.
Crennel was hired as the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator for the 2000 season.
Back to New England
After one season in Cleveland, he filled the same role with the Patriots for four seasons (2001–2004) under long-time friend Bill Belichick. The two had worked together on the Giants from 1981 to 1990 and had served on Parcells's staffs in New England and the Jets from 1996 to 1999. Crennel helped lead New England to three Super Bowl victories (2001, 2003, & 2004).
Kansas City Chiefs
On January 13, 2010, Crennel was hired as the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator, reuniting him with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and General Manager Scott Pioli from their days with the Patriots.
Before beginning the 2003 playoffs with the Patriots, Crennel interviewed for head coaching positions with six teams in under 36 hours. He was not offered any jobs, however, and was passed up by the New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills, the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears, and the Atlanta Falcons.
Crennel was hired to replace Butch Davis as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He went 24–40 in his tenure with the Browns. His team went 6–10 and 4–12 in his first two seasons with the Browns, finishing last or tied for last in the AFC North and missing the playoffs each year. The Browns finished the 2007 season with a 10–6 record, just falling short of making the playoffs. Crennel's success in the 2007 season earned him a two-year contract extension in January 2008.
On December 29, 2008, following a disappointing 4–12 season, Crennel was fired by the Browns.
Kansas City Chiefs
Following Todd Haley's termination as the team's head coach after 13 games in the 2011 season, Crennel was named the team's interim head coach for the remaining three games of the season. Crennel won his first game as the interim head coach of the Chiefs on December 18, 2011 against the then undefeated Green Bay Packers 19–14, which was significant as Crennel snapped the Packers' 19-game winning streak and ended their hopes for a perfect season. Crennel finished his stint as interim head coach with a 2–1 record. However, in his tenure as a head coach for the Chiefs, Crennel would only win 2 more games finishing with a 4–15 overall record.
On December 1, 2012, Crennel attempted to prevent the suicide of player Jovan Belcher by talking to him and witnessed his death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The following day, Crennel coached his team to a 27–21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Chiefs' first home victory since defeating the Packers the previous season, and the only other home win during his tenure.
On December 31, 2012, it was announced that Crennel had been fired from the Chiefs.
On January 20, 2014, Crennel signed a 3-year deal with the NFL's Houston Texans becoming their new defensive coordinator under their new head coach Bill O'Brien. He was one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in the NFL for three seasons (2014-2016), earning roughly $1.8 million per year. Crennel finished the 2016 year with the NFL's #1 ranked defense and in January 2017 was promoted to Assistant Head Coach.
Head coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CLE||2005||6||10||0||.375||3rd in AFC North||-||-||-||-|
|CLE||2006||4||12||0||.250||4th in AFC North||-||-||-||-|
|CLE||2007||10||6||0||.625||2nd in AFC North||-||-||-||-|
|CLE||2008||4||12||0||.250||4th in AFC North||-||-||-||-|
|KC||2011||2||1||0||.667||4th in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
|KC||2012||2||14||0||.125||4th in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
- Crennel served as the Chiefs head coach on an interim basis for the final 3 games of the 2011 season.
NFL head coaches under whom Romeo Crennel has served:
- Ray Perkins: New York Giants
- Bill Parcells: New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets
- Ray Handley: New York Giants
- Chris Palmer: Cleveland Browns
- Bill Belichick: New England Patriots, New York Jets
- Todd Haley: Kansas City Chiefs
- Bill O'Brien: Houston Texans
Crennel had hip replacement surgery in early 2009 and decided to sit out the 2009 football season while recuperating. 
- African American Biographies
- "Cleveland Browns confirm contract extension for Crennel" The Cleveland Plain Dealer
- "Romeo Crennel will coach Chiefs for remainder of season". KCChiefs.com.
- Federovitch, Barry (December 19, 2011). "Romeo Crennel has day in the sun". nj.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Chiefs to Name Romeo Crennel Head Coach". KCChiefs.com.
- "Romeo Crennel plans to retain defensive play-calling duties as head coach in 2012". KCChiefs.com.
- "Romeo Crennel names Gary Gibbs D coordinator". KCChiefs.com.
- Hill, Josh (December 31, 2012). "Report: Kansas City Chiefs Fire Romeo Crennel, But Keep Scott Pioli". FanSided.Com Sports Network. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- Romeo Crennel Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Former Cleveland Browns coach Crennel to sit out 2009" May 4 2009 The Cleveland Plain Dealer
- Staff writer (2012-12-01). "Report: Chiefs player kills girlfriend, then commits suicide". USA Today.
- Don Banks (1 December 2012). "Chiefs player involved in apparent murder-suicide at team facility". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 December 2012.