Houston Texans fire head coach Lovie Smith after one season
On Sunday afternoon, the Houston Texans, led by head coach Lovie Smith, beat the Indianapolis Colts, even though it cost them the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft
A few hours later, the Texans fired Smith after one 3-13-1 season.
“Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and informed him that we will be moving in a different direction as an organization,” team owner Cal McNair said in a statement. “I appreciate Coach Smith and his entire family for their contributions over the last two seasons. We are grateful for his leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward. While we understand the results have not been what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and city deserve a team that they can be proud of. I will work alongside Nick Caserio throughout this process and I’m confident we will find the right leader for our football team.”
Caserio, the team’s general manager, said this in a statement.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Lovie Smith for everything he has contributed to our team over the last two seasons as a coach and a leader. I’m constantly evaluating our football operation and believe this is the best decision for us at this time. It is my responsibility to build a comprehensive and competitive program that can sustain success over a long period of time. We aren’t there right now, however, with the support of the McNair family and the resources available to us, I’m confident in the direction of our football program moving forward.”
Smith is the second minority head coach in a row to be fired after one season. David Culley was released from his position after the Texans went 4-13 in 2021.
After the game, Smith spoke about his status as the head coach.
“A couple things, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. First off, they’re reports. I don’t know what the reports are. Yeah, I meet with Cal [McNair] every Monday. I met with him this past Monday. As far as – we talk about what’s happening the last game. We understand the totality of the season on what’s going on. Do I expect to be back? Yeah, I expect to be back. Absolutely.”
Per Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the top two candidates to replace Smith are Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Ryans was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Alabama, and he played linebacker with the team from 2006 through 2011.