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Former Browns HC Romeo Crennel retires

Crennel spent 39 years coaching at the NFL level, including time as head coach of the Browns from 2005 to 2008.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel, who was head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2005 to 2008, announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday.

Overall Crennel spent 39 years coaching at the NFL level and 50 years as a coach. He spent the past eight seasons with the Houston Texans, who released a statement from Crennel via their Twitter account.

In the statement, Crennel thanked his family, among others, for supporting his coaching dreams:

“Football has been my entire life and it’s been a dream come true to coach for 50 years. There are so many friends to thank who have helped me and supported me throughout my career. I especially want to thank the fans and owners of the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans for allowing me to contribute to the game that I have loved so much for so long. I’ll miss everything about coaching and teaching, but the thing I’ll miss the most is being around the guys every day. My goal was to put every player and coach in the best position to succeed and I consider every guy I coached or worked with a part of my family.

“I would also want to thank my wife Rosemary and my three daughters, Lisa, Tiffany and Kristine, for all of their support over the years. Because of their love and selflessness, I have been able to live out my dream. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to spend more time with my grandchildren while staying around the game of football.”

The 74-year-old Crennel had two stints with the Browns, first working as defensive coordinator in 2000 and then returning as head coach in 2005.

The high point of Crennel’s time with the Browns came in 2007, when quarterback Derek Anderson led the team to a surprising 10-6 season, narrowly missing the playoffs. That season and the 2020 season, when the Browns went 11-5, are the only seasons with double-digit wins that the Browns have posted since returning to the NFL in 1999.

Crennel was fired after an injury-filled 2008 season as the Browns fell back to a 4-12 record. In four seasons with the Browns, Crennel posted a record of 24-40, still the most wins by a Cleveland head coach since 1999 and tied for seventh-most in franchise history.

Crennel enjoyed his most success as an assistant coach, first with the New York Giants, who won two Super Bowls with Crennel on the staff, and then the New England Patriots, who won three Super Bowls with Crennel.

All told, Crennel was on the coaching staff of teams that made 17 playoff appearances, won 13 division titles, six conference titles and five Super Bowls, according to houstontexans.com.

Crennel also holds the distinction of being the oldest head coach in NFL history after he took over as interim head coach of the Texans in 2020 at the age of 73, breaking the record held by Chicago Bears head coach and owner George Halas.