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Former Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel retires after 39 NFL seasons

The long-respected coach has been with six NFL teams in his career.

Indianapolis Colts v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After 39 seasons in the league, former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel has announced his retirement from the NFL’s coaching ranks. He made the announcement on Monday.

“Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years,” Crennel said 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.”

Beginning his college coaching career in 1970, Crennel spent time at Western Kentucky, Texas Tech, Mississippi and Georgia before joining the Giants as its special-teams coach in 1981. He followed head coach Bill Parcells to the New England Patriots in 1993 and to the Jets in 1997 before becoming defensive coordinator of the Browns in 2000. He went back to the Patriots in 2001 before returning to the Browns in 2005.

Long regarded as one of the league’s most respected defensive coaches, Crennel spent 12 NFL seasons as a defensive coordinator — plus five seasons as a head coach and two stints as an interim head coach.

In Kansas City, Crennel fulfilled all three roles, serving as the defensive coordinator in 2010 and 2011 — and interim head coach after Todd Haley was fired in 2011. In 2012, he remained the team’s head coach before giving way to current coach Andy Reid in 2013.

Crennel was at the team’s helm for a spectacular moment in the team’s annals: its 19-14 defeat of the 13-0 Green Bay Packers in his first game as the interim head coach.

Since his time in Kansas City, Crennel has been with the Houston Texans, where he served in a variety of roles — including another term as interim head coach in 2020.

Now 74, Crennel holds five Super Bowl rings that he earned while coaching with the Patriots and Giants.

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