The Texans are moving toward hiring defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as their new coach, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo.
Per Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who first reported the news Monday, all signs are pointing toward Smith being hired as their next coach.
On Sunday night, ESPN reported that the Texans had included Smith in their discussions throughout the process, but that Smith, who was also the team’s associate head coach last year, has gained traction recently.
Former NFL quarterback Josh McCown, who was interviewed for the role, will not be the Texans’ next head coach, per the Houston Chronicle. If Smith is hired, the team’s offensive coordinator is expected to be current quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, per ESPN.
Prior to serving as Houston’s defensive coordinator in 2021, Smith, 63, served as the coach at the University of Illinois from 2016-20. He was fired after the 2020 season after posting a 17–39 record with the Illini.
Smith has also served as a coach at the NFL level, posting an 89–87 record in 11 total seasons with the Bears and Buccaneers. He led Chicago to the Super Bowl in 2006, then his third year with the Bears.
The Texans also interviewed Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, Dolphins coach Brian Flores and former Steelers wide receiver and current FAU receivers coach Hines Ward for the position.
Smith would replace David Culley, who was fired on Jan. 13 after a 4–13 record in his one season with the team.
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