The Houston Texans have agreed to a five-year contract with David Culley to become the team’s new head coach, according to multiple reports.
The 65-year-old Culley was the receivers coach of the Baltimore Ravens for the past two seasons. He has never been a head coach at the college or professional levels during a coaching career that began in 1978.
Culley joins the Miami Dolphins’ Brian Flores and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin as the only Black head coaches in the league.
The Ravens will receive third-round compensatory draft picks in both the 2021 and 2022 NFL drafts due to a recently implemented minority hiring resolution passed last November.
Culley, who turns 66 in September, will be the oldest coach in NFL history at the time of his debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bud Wilkinson (62 years, 133 days) is the current oldest from his 29-game stint with the then-St. Louis Cardinals in 1978-79.
The Texans’ decision to tab Culley has come under extra scrutiny because franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson has made known his unhappiness regarding player and front office moves in the last few seasons.
Examples include the trade of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after the 2019 season and the hiring of general manager Nick Caserio earlier this month without Watson being offered input. Watson said he was promised that he would be involved and had even offered suggestions for hires.
Numerous reports indicate Watson has asked to be traded from Houston. The hiring of Culley is expected to have no impact on Watson’s feelings.
The Texans went 4-12 this season, and an 0-4 start cost head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien his job in early October. They had gone a combined 21-11 over the two previous seasons, including back-to-back postseason appearances.
In addition to his time with the Ravens, Culley’s NFL resume includes stops in Buffalo (two seasons), Kansas City (four seasons), Philadelphia (14 seasons), Pittsburgh (three seasons), and Tampa Bay (two seasons).
Among the candidates the Texans passed over were Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2010-13.