HOUSTON — Lovie Smith has been fired as head coach of the Houston Texans. The team chair and CEO and general manager posted statements about the decision on Sunday night.
Houston finished with a 3-13-1 record in his first and only season leading the Texans. With Houston's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the season finale, the Texans missed out on the No. 1 pick in April's NFL draft. The Chicago Bears hold the top pick and Houston will be on the clock second.
It’s the third straight year Houston has parted ways with a head coach. Two years ago, the team fired GM and head coach Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start. Last year, it was David Culley, who was one-and-done after a 4-13 season. This year, it’s Smith, who was elevated to head coach from defensive coordinator after the 2021 season.
Smith's coaching history
Smith, the organization’s fifth head coach, is a native of Big Sandy, Texas. His head coaching career started with the Chicago Bears, where he led the team to three division titles, two NFC championship game appearances and one Super Bowl. That Super Bowl trip was the Bears’ first in 21 years. Smith was fired in Chicago in 2013 after nine seasons when the team. That season, the Bears started the season 7-1 but failed to make the playoffs.
From there, he spent two years as head coach in Tampa Bay and was let go after two seasons. From there, he went on to coach at the University of Illinois from 2016 to 2020.
Smith joined Houston as defensive coordinator for the 2021 season, then got the head coaching nod in February of 2022 after Culley’s firing.
Smith is married and has three sons. One of his sons – Miles – is the Texans’ linebackers coach.
Statement from Chair and CEO Cal McNair
“Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and informed him that we will be moving in a different direction as an organization. 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.”
Statement from General Manager Nick Caserio
“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.”