Texas fires David Cooley after one season as head coach
Houston Texans fired David Cooley Thursday after his first season as head coach, according to multiple reports.
In Culley’s first and only season with the Texans, they finished with a 4-13 record and concluded the year with a 28-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans. On Monday, Cooley said he expected to return, but general manager Nick Caserio said he was assessing Cooley and eventually made the decision to move on from him.
This is the first time the Texans have fired a coach after just one season.
Texans also fired attack coordinator Tim Kelly on Thursday.
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“Earlier today I met with David Cooley and Tim Kelly to inform them that we will be moving in a different direction in the positions of Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator,” Caserio said in a statement. “I came to this difficult but necessary decision after reviewing our football operations. While changing after one season is unusual, we had philosophical differences about the long-term direction and vision of our program going forward. We appreciate Coach Culley for helping us navigate through a difficult season, but It’s my responsibility to make decisions that I feel are best for our organization. The search for the next coach for the Houston Texans will begin immediately.”
according to NFL network. Cooley will earn approximately $22 million for one season as head coach for Houston.
Cooley was appointed last January to replace Bill O’Brien. In 2020, the Texans finished with a 4-12 record with Deshaun Watson in the quarterback. The team parted with O’Brien after opening his seventh season 0-4.
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With the Texas firing of Cooley, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin became the last black coach left in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins also dumped Brian Flores this week.
“We are grateful for the energy and passion David brought to our organization throughout this past season,” Texas Chairman and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement. “We wish him, his wife Caroline and their entire family nothing but the best moving forward. I have entrusted Nick Caserio to lead the footballing performance and have complete confidence that he will find the best captain for our team. These decisions are difficult, but Nick believed it was essential to the future of our organization, and we look forward to continuing to Building our roster and finding the right coach to lead us forward.”
Culley was hired after spending 2019-2020 as an assistant coach, wide receiving coach and passing coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens game. Prior to coming to Houston, Cooley worked as an assistant in the NFL since 1994, spending time with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Buffalo. He began his career as a college assistant and spent 1991-1993 at Texas A&M University.
Houston beat Jacksonville in their 2021 opener before losing eight games in a row after Tyrod Taylor was injured and rising quarterback Davis Mills struggled to adapt to the NFL.
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But the Texans played better late in the season, with two of their four wins in the final month of the season, most notably a 41-29 win over the playoffs Los Angeles Chargers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.