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Romeo Crennel
Replace this image male.svg
Date of birth June 18, 1947 (1947-06-18) (age 62)
Place of birth Lynchburg, Virginia
Position(s) Defensive Coordinator
College Western Kentucky
Awards 2003 PFW Assistant COY
Regular season 24-40-0
Postseason 0-0
Career record 24-40-0
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a coach/administrator











Western Kentucky
(Defensive Line Coach)
Texas Tech
(Defensive Assistant)
Ole Miss
(Defensive Ends Coach)
Georgia Tech
(Defensive Line Coach)
New York Giants
(Special Teams Coach)
New York Giants
(Defensive Line Coach)
New England Patriots
(Defensive Line Coach)
New York Jets
(Defensive Line Coach)
Cleveland Browns
(Defensive Coordinator)
New England Patriots
(Defensive Coordinator)
Cleveland Browns
(Head Coach)
Kansas City Chiefs
(Defensive Coordinator)

Romeo Crennel (born June 18, 1947 in Lynchburg, Virginia) is the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns and current defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. Before becoming the head coach of the Browns, Crennel won three Super Bowls in four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. Crennel has participated in six Super Bowls winning five of them during his coaching career.


Playing career

Crennel played baseball and football at Fort Knox (Ky.) High School and Central (Va.) High School before committing to college football at Western Kentucky. Although he was a four-year starter as a defensive lineman, he became an offensive lineman during his senior season at the request of the coaching staff. He was named the team MVP after the switch but was not drafted and never played in the NFL. Crennel earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Western Kentucky, and then a master’s degree while serving as a graduate assistant for the school in 1970.

Coaching career



After one season as a graduate assistant with Western Kentucky (1970), Crennel served as the defensive line coach for three seasons (1971–1974). He then became an assistant for defensive coordinator Bill Parcells and head coach Steve Sloan at Texas Tech for three seasons (1975–1977). Crennel finished his collegiate career with two seasons as the defensive ends coach for Mississippi (1978–1979) and one season as the defensive line coach for Georgia Tech (1980).

National Football League

Assistant coach

After spending two seasons as an assistant with the New York Giants, Crennel became the special teams coach for seven seasons (1983–1989) and the defensive line coach for three seasons (1990–1992). In 1983, he was reunited with Parcells as the head coach.

When Parcells stepped down as Giants head coach after Super Bowl XXV, Crennel stayed with the team under the two year tenure of Ray Handley. Crennel left the Giants after the 1992 season and worked as the defensive line coach for the New England Patriots for four seasons (1993-1996) and for the New York Jets for three seasons (1997-1999) during the time that Parcells was the head coach in each franchise.

Crennel was hired as the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator for the 2000 season before filling the same role with the Patriots for four seasons (2001–2004) under long-time friend Bill Belichick.

Head coach

Before beginning the 2003 playoffs with the Patriots, Crennel interviewed for head coaching positions with five teams in under 36 hours. He was not offered any jobs, however, and was passed up by the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Atlanta Falcons.[1]

Cleveland Browns

Crennel went 6-10 and 4-12 in his first two seasons with the Browns, finishing last or tied for last in the AFC North and missing the playoffs each year. The Browns finished the 2007 season with a 10-6 record, just falling short of making the playoffs. Crennel's success in the 2007 season earned him a two-year contract extension in January 2008.[2] On December 29, 2008, following a disappointing 4-12 season, Crennel was fired by the Browns.

Kansas City Chiefs

On January 13, 2010, Crennel officially signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He will replace Clancy Pendergast as the teams defensive coordinator, Crennel will also be reunited with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and General Manager Scott Pioli from their days with the Patriots.[3] Crennel is not expected to be formally introduced until after Super Bowl XLIV, when he will be contractually released by the Browns.[4]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 2005 6 10 0 .375 3rd in AFC North - - - -
CLE 2006 4 12 0 .250 4th in AFC North - - - -
CLE 2007 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC North - - - -
CLE 2008 4 12 0 .250 4th in AFC North - - - -
CLE Total 24 40 0 .375 - - -
Total[5] 24 40 0 .375 - - -

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Romeo Crennel has served:


Crennel had hip replacement surgery in early 2009 and decided to sit-out the 2009 football season while recuperating. [6]


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob Slowik
Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Foge Fazio
Preceded by
Bill Belichick (also Head Coach)
New England Patriots Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Eric Mangini
Preceded by
Butch Davis
Cleveland Browns Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Eric Mangini
Preceded by
Clancy Pendergast
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by


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