Romeo Crennel named head coach of Kansas City Chiefs
Crennel had been the leading candidate to replace fired head coach Todd Haley after leading the team to a 2-1 record down the stretch and handing the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers their only loss of the season.
“We are very excited to name Romeo the new head coach of the Chiefs,” Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “In 30 years as a coach in the National Football League, Romeo has established an outstanding track record of success, and we believe his experience and proven ability make him the best person to help us reach our goal of consistently competing for championships.”
Crennel went 24-40 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2005-2008. He was defensive coordinator with the Chiefs before being promoted with three games left in the season. A locker room that was said to be disjointed quickly jelled under Crennel, and players were heard chanting his name after a season-ending victory in Denver.
“Romeo's vast experience and intelligence have helped him achieve success at the highest level,” General Manager Scott Pioli said. “The way in which he creates accountability and respect amongst the team creates a very productive work environment and will be critical in continuing to develop our young core of players.”
The Chiefs were the AFC West champions a year ago but numerous season-ending injuries to key players, including starting quarterback Matt Cassel, contributed to a 7-9 finish this season. Still, the team finished only a game out of first place and should be considered contenders in the wide-open division for years to come.
“I have a deep appreciation for the vision that Clark Hunt has and his commitment to building a championship-caliber team,” Crennel said. “I believe in the types of players that we are trying to win with and the identity we are trying to create.”
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Romeo Crennel. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images