HOUSTON – Houston Texans have appointed Baltimore Ravens assistant David Cooley as their next head coach, sources told ESPN, confirming a Houston Chronicle report.
The 65-year-old, Coolie, who has spent the last two seasons in Baltimore, completed his 27th season as an NFL coach. Along with serving as the team’s assistant head coach, Coolie was Baltimore’s passing game coordinator and wide receiver coach. The Ravens finished the 2020 season ranked last in passing to the NFL.
“It’s a big opportunity,” Ravens head coach John Harbo said of the opening of the week in Texas, leading to Baltimore’s divisional playoff game. “He has a heck of an outfit. I believe David Coolie would be a tremendous hire for any position. Probably, in particular, with Texas Desas Watson.”
Rayleigh now gets two third-round compensatory picks (one in 2021 and another in 2022) to hire from his employees. This comes from a resolution adopted in November to encourage NFL teams to develop and appoint minority candidates for head-coaching and general manager positions.
Culley has never been an offensive coordinator at the NFL level. He was also an assistant head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-16, and spent the 2017 and ’18 seasons as the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback coach. When Ravens hired Coolie in 2019, Harbo said the coach was highly respected as a “teacher, game-planner and motivator”.
When Texas fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien in October, Houston became the first team to open for any venue. Texas hired Nick Casario as its new general manager earlier this month and gave him the reins of his head-coaching search.
Along with Culley, Houston interviewed Bill Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier, Chief Offensive Coordinator Eric Bynemy, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Colts Defense Coordinator Matt Eberfluss and current Texas quarterback Josh McConn as Cassario. Texas also interviewed Brandon Staley before being hired by the Los Angeles Chargers.
Amid the Texas coaching search, sources told ESPN that Watson was not happy with the process the organization used to hire Casario. And sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that despite hiring Texas as their next head coach, Watson’s desire to trade was not expected to change.
The Texans are coming off a 4–12 season, in which Watson played the best football of his NFL career. The fourth-year quarterback set career highs in touchdowns, passing yards, and completion percentage. He also threw a career-seven interceptions.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN contributed to this report.