The Houston Texans have hired Brian Gaine as general manager and extended the contract of Head Coach Bill O'Brien, the team announced today. Gaine signed a five-year deal and O'Brien was extended for four years, with both deals running through 2022.
Gaine, who is the third general manager in franchise history, spent the 2017 season as the Buffalo Bills' vice president of player personnel after serving as the Texans' director of player personnel from 2015-16 and director of pro personnel in 2014. Gaine brings 19 years of NFL personnel experience to Houston and has spent time in leadership roles with the Bills (2017), Texans (2014-16), Miami Dolphins (2008-13), Dallas Cowboys (2005-07) and New York Jets (1999-2004).
"Our committee was unanimous in praise for Brian Gaine and we are all aligned in our philosophy on how to continue to build our roster and win a championship," said Texans Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair. "Brian is an incredibly smart, hardworking individual that understands the importance of good communication. We couldn't be more excited about naming him our new general manager."
O'Brien is entering his fifth season with the Texans and his 31 career victories are tied for the most by any head coach in franchise history through their first four years. In 2017, the Texans dealt with multiple injuries to their roster, which led to an NFL-record 78 different players recording at least one snap on offense, defense or special teams. From 2014-16, O'Brien led the Texans to three straight winning seasons for the first time in franchise history and back-to-back AFC South division championships (2015-16).
"Bill O'Brien has been a tremendous leader for us these last four years and we believe in his vision for the team moving forward," said McNair. "Bill is a terrific teacher that the players respect. We have a lot of trust in him to build a unified, championship culture and we're thrilled to have him as our head coach into the future."
Since beginning his administrative career in 1999, Gaine has helped guide teams to the postseason nine times: 2001, 2002 and 2004 with the Jets; 2006 and 2007 with the Cowboys; 2008 with the Dolphins; 2015 and 2016 with the Texans and the Bills in 2017, which was Buffalo's first playoff appearance since 1999. Additionally, Gaine played a role in putting together rosters that have garnered 73 Pro Bowl berths and 12 First-Team All-Pro selections.
Gaine has worked with numerous successful coaches and front office executives during his NFL career, including Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, former Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland, former Steelers Director of Player Personnel Dick Haley and former Jets General Manager Terry Bradway. Parcells was general manager of the Jets when he hired Gaine in 1999 and the two worked together with the Cowboys from 2005-06 before Parcells brought him to Miami in 2008 when he took over as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
As director of player personnel with the Texans, Gaine provided support and guidance to both the pro and college scouting departments while directing the team's player evaluation process and pro personnel operation. He served as the club's director of pro personnel in 2014, where he supervised all pro player evaluation, the advance scouting process, free agency and the monitoring of player transactional movement in all professional leagues.
From 2012-13 with the Dolphins, Gaine served as the assistant general manager, working directly with team management overseeing player personnel operations and the player evaluation process at both the collegiate and professional levels. He functioned as the Dolphins' director of player personnel from April 2011 to June 2012, providing supervision of both the pro and college scouting departments. Gaine began his career with the Dolphins as the assistant director of player personnel in January 2008 and held that position until March 2011.
Prior to his arrival in Miami, Gaine spent the previous three seasons as the Cowboys' assistant director of pro scouting (2005-07), where he worked with Parcells (2005-06). Gaine contributed to the Cowboys' evaluation process by managing the pro scouting department and evaluating players and rosters from all levels of professional football.
Gaine went to Dallas after spending six years (1999-2004) in the Jets' scouting department. He served as the assistant director of pro scouting in 2004 and was a pro scout from 2001-03. In 2000, Gaine was the Jets' manager of pro player development/NFC, and he began his personnel career as a scouting assistant in the Jets' college scouting department in 1999.
Prior to joining New York in a front office capacity, Gaine spent time as a player with the Jets, New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs from 1996-98. Gaine, who is the youngest of five brothers, attended the University of Maine from 1991-95 where he played tight end. He served as the Black Bears' captain his senior season and earned his degree in public administration. Gaine grew up in Pearl River, N.Y., and attended Don Bosco Prep High School in Ramsey, N.J. He and his wife, Tricia, have a daughter, Kelsey, and sons, Ryan, Connor and Liam.
Under O'Brien in 2017, First-Team All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins recorded 96 receptions for 1,378 yards (14.4 avg.) and a franchise-record 13 receiving touchdowns. Rookie QB Deshaun Watson played in seven games (six starts) and completed 126-of-204 passes (61.8%) for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns while also rushing for 269 yards on 36 attempts (7.5 avg.) and two touchdowns. Watson set the NFL record for most passing touchdowns (19) through a player's first seven career games in NFL history and piloted the league's highest-scoring offense (30.7 points per game) at the time of his injury.
Defensively in 2017, Houston recorded 32 sacks and had 18 different players with at least 0.5 sacks, which set a single-season franchise record. Houston also logged 85 tackles for loss as a team, which is the second-most in a season in team history, and had 25 different players record at least one tackle for loss, which is a single-season franchise record. Pro Bowl OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney finished second in the NFL in tackles for loss with a single-season career-high and team-high 21 while also setting single-season career highs in sacks (9.5), quarterback hits (21), forced fumbles (two), fumble recoveries (two), total tackles (59) and games played/started (16).
In 2016, Houston defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wild Card Round and advanced to the Divisional Round for the first time since 2012. The Texans' 15 division wins since 2014 are tied for the fifth-most in the NFL and Houston's 95.45 win percentage when leading at halftime under O'Brien is the best in the NFL over that span.