Romeo Crennel has spent half a century coaching, from his days as a graduate assistant coach at Western Kentucky in 1970 to his role with the Houston Texans as associate head coach today. After 38 years coaching in the NFL, including seven with the Texans, Crennel has been nominated for the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award for his lifetime achievement as an assistant coach.
"Romeo Crennel, not only is he a tremendous defensive mind, but he is an incredible human being," defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver said. "He's been a huge mentor for me throughout, and I can't tell you how fortunate I feel just to still have him in the building and be able to bounce ideas off of him."
Crennel served as the Texans defensive coordinator for five seasons (2014-16, 2018-19) in Houston. Following the 2019 season, Crennel was named associate head coach and will assist head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien.
"It's great to have RAC (Romeo Crennel) around still," J.J. Watt said last week. "I love RAC. I've always said it, I've been very fortunate to have a guy like Wade Phillips early in my career and a guy like Romeo Crennel here these last few years. Those two guys are just incredible people, incredible minds, incredible experiences, and I've been very fortunate to be around them, to learn from them and to grow with them. We just finished up a Zoom meeting right now and at the end of it he (Crennel) gave us his little words of advice and wisdom and we were having some fun. He's just such a great guy."
Crennel has been a part of 16 playoff appearances with 12 division crowns, six conference titles and has won five of the six Super Bowls he has appeared in (New York Giants – XXI and XXV, New England Patriots – XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX).
Other nominees for the Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman award include: Bill Arnsparger, Dick Hoak, Rod Marinelli, Bobb McKittrick, Floyd Peters, Bobby Turner and former Houston Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. PFWA voting is currently underway through June 19 with final results announced beginning June 22.