The Houston Texans have named Rick Dennison the team's offensive coordinator, the team announced today.
The 51-year-old Dennison is entering his 16th season in the NFL as a coach and his 25th year in the league overall. Dennison has spent his entire NFL tenure to date with the Denver Broncos, first as a player from 1982-90 and then as a coach from 1995-09.
This will be Dennison's second stint as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. He took over the role in Denver from 2006-08 after his predecessor, Gary Kubiak, left Denver to become the head coach of the Houston Texans. Prior to taking over as offensive coordinator, Dennison coached the Broncos offensive line from 2001-05. He resumed that role last season under first-year head coach Josh McDaniels. Dennison coached Denver's special teams from 1997-00 and was an offensive assistant from 1995-96.
With Dennison at the helm, Denver's offense averaged 350.5 yards per game from 2006-08 and rushed for 124.4 yards per game, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Despite starting a rookie at left tackle and a second-year player at right tackle in 2008, the Broncos offense gained 6,333 yards to rank second in the NFL and the offensive line allowed a franchise-record-low 12 sacks on the season.
In 2007, Denver was fourth in the NFL in yards per play (5.7) and was fifth in the league in yards per rush (4.6). In 2006, Dennison's first season at the helm of the offense, Denver ranked fifth in the NFL with an average of 360.4 yards per game.
With Dennison in charge of either the offensive line or the entire offense from 2001-09, the Broncos ranked second in the NFL with an average of 135.1 rushing yards per game, and Denver's 4.5-yard rushing average in that time period was the third-highest in the league. The Broncos line also excelled in pass blocking, surrendering just 226 sacks in nine years, which was the fourth-fewest in the league over that time span.
Dennison coached Denver's special teams from 1997-00 and helped the Broncos win back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 1998. Under his tutelage, PR Darrien Gordon and K Jason Elam each earned trips to the Pro Bowl and P Tom Rouen was one of the most consistent punters in the league. Dennison began his coaching career as an offensive assistant in Denver from 1995-96 after coaching for three years at the high school level for Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn.
Dennison played linebacker for the Broncos from 1982-90, appearing in 128 games with 52 starts and three Super Bowls (XXI in 1986, XXII in '87 and XXIV in '89). In 1989, he received the Ed Block Memorial Courage Award. A year earlier, Dennison ranked second on the Broncos in tackles with 133 during the 1988 campaign while posting a team-high three fumble recoveries that year.
Dennison joined the Broncos as a college free agent in 1982 after a fine collegiate career at Colorado State, where he was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior and earned three varsity letters. In 1979, Dennison received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from CSU followed by a master's degree in the same field from CSU in 1982.
Born in Kalispell, Mont., Dennison attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colo., where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. His father, George, is the president of the University of Montana. Rick and his wife, Shannon, have five children – sons Joseph, Steven and Trey and twin daughters Abrynn and Allie.