The Pro Football Writers of America honored Romeo Crennel this week.
Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel was honored on Monday with the Dr. Z Award, given out by the Pro Football Writers of America. Two recipients were named this year: Crennel and former Miami Dolphins coach Bill Arnspager.
The Dr. Z Award is intended is a lifetime achievement award, intended to honor the full body of work over a professional coaching career. The award is given to an assistant coach, although clearly, as in Crennel’s case, the recipient could have a history in the league as a head coach as well. The award is named for longtime Sports Illustrated writer Paul Zimmerman, who covered the sport for nearly 30 years.
Crennel has long been considered one of the most popular coaches with players in the NFL and a creative defensive coordinator who has been on five Super Bowl winning teams. Crennel is currently the assistant head coach for the Houston Texans, his home since taking a year off during the 2013 NFL season. Since 2014, he’s served under Texans head coach Bill O’Brien in his current role and/or as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Crennel has been an NFL head coach at two different points of his nearly 50-year career as a head coach. He coached the Cleveland Browns from 2005 to 2008 and finished with a 24-40 overall record. The Kansas City Chiefs hired him as head coach after a successful yet short interim stint in 2012 and he finished that segment with an even worse 4-15 record. His career record as a head coach is 28-55, good for a 33.7 win percentage.
Crennel began his coaching career as a defensive line coach at his alma mater of Western Kentucky in 1970. He first made his way to the NFL with the New York Giants as special teams coach in 1981 and he remained with the organization for 12 seasons before landing a spot on the New England Patriots coaching staff. It was there that Crennel’s reputation really took root around the NFL given the team’s success after the millennium.
Crennel recently turned 73-years-old earlier this month.