HOUSTON - The Houston Texans have hired defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as their next head coach.
Smith joined the Texans organization in 2021 as associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
During the search process to find their next head coach Texans officials were in discussions with Smith about remaining in his current position.
Over the last few days, the focus of those talks changed with the Texans strongly considering Smith as the potential candidate to replace David Culley who was fired last month.
Those discussions have advanced to the point where the expectation is Smith will become the fifth head coach in team history.
FILE: Lovie Smith looks on during the fourth quarter of Houston Texans game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 7, 2021, when he was defensive coordinator. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Smith has had success as an NFL head coach in the past.
He was head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012, leading them to the Super Bowl following the 2006 season before losing to the Indianapolis Colts.
With the Bears Smith won three NFC North titles, winning 11 games twice and 13 games once.
He was fired after going 11-5 in 2010 and winning this third division title.
Smith was not able to replicate that success with Tampa Bay where he was 8-24 over two seasons, 2014-15.
Smith was also the head coach at Illinois where he went 17 and 39 while coaching the Illini from 2016-2020.
Smith is expected to get the Texans job after the team interviewed former NFL quarterback Josh McCown, who at one point was considered the favorite, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, LA Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, Florida Atlantic receivers coach Hines Ward, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and LA Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell who is reportedly the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
Smith is from Big Sandy, Texas, where, as a star player on defense, he helped lead the Wildcats to three consecutive state high school championships from 1973 to 1975.
Smith played college football at Tulsa and was named to the school’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Lovie’s son, Miles, coached the Texans linebackers in 2021.