Smith ready for challenge of rebuilding Texans

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 2/14/22

“I’m a high school product of our great state of Texas Smith said. “I knew I always wanted to be a coach and I knew that I would always want to lead a team in my home state."

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Smith ready for challenge of rebuilding Texans

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After a coaching search spanning nearly a month, the Texans decided their best option was in house, as the organization announced Monday that they had hired Lovie Smith as head coach.

Smith becomes the fifth head coach in organization’s history, following Dom Capers, Gary Kubiak, Bill O’Brien and David Culley.

“There’s been a lot of special moments that have happened to me, but this one is pretty special, it’s right up there,” Smith said. “It’s not often you get a chance to lead three professional football teams. I don’t know if there’s a guy that looks like me that’s had the opportunity to do that. Just what I know about the organization and the potential, I know the potential here, I got to see it this year and I’m glad that we can keep building on it.”

The Texans interviewed a vast array of candidates, including Jonathan Gannon, Brian Flores, Joe Lombard and Hines Ward before deciding to give Smith the job.

“There was a lot of conversation, a lot of dialogue with a lot of people around the league. Players, coaches, executives and different people. Said Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio. “My job was to take that information and try to put ourselves in a good position and make the best decision. I believe we’ve arrived at that point.”

This is Smith’s third NFL coaching job, after coaching the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-15, he was also the head coach of the University of Illinois from 2016-2020. He was praised this past year as the Texans defensive coordinator for his calming presence in the locker room and the relationships he built with players.

“I was asked in this search to be very thoughtful and process oriented and just be consistent,” Caserio said. “When you look at Lovie (Smith) on a day to day basis, that kind of defines who he is as a human being. He doesn’t get to high, doesn’t get to low, and he has certain convictions that he believes in. He’s one of the most well respected people throughout the league, not only in our building but outside of the building as well.”

Smith, who was a high school graduate of Big Sandy, always dreamed of being an NFL head coach in his home state and is excited for the opportunity of leading the Texans.

“I’m a high school product of our great state of Texas Smith said. “I knew I always wanted to be a coach and I knew that I would always want to lead a team in my home state. I can’t thank the people in this organization enough for having the faith in me to lead our great program.”

Another internal move along with Smith happened Tuesday, as Texans quarterback coach Pep Hamilton was promoted to offensive coordinator.

“It was a must to keep Pep (Hamilton),” Smith said. “One of the first things I did was say ‘Pep, we need you.’ We have a relationship.”

Smith didn’t just sell himself to the Texans, but Caserio and the Texans sold themselves to Smith as well.

“It’s not just the finished product that you look for,” Smith said. “I saw the potential here of starting from the bottom floor and building it up. What it looks like and where it can go are two different things. Our history that we have in this program, just not too long ago this was a team in the playoffs with a chance to get to the super bowl, that opportunity is there. Working together with Nick (Caserio) and with the commitment we have from the McNair family, I know we can get back there.”

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