Texans fire coach Culley after 1 season
"I'm disappointed, but it's part of the business," Culley said, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson. "I understand, and I move on."
The Texans, who went 4-13 this season, also dismissed offensive coordinator Tim Kelly after he spent three campaigns in the role.
Culley inked a five-year deal with the Texans during the 2021 offseason and has three more years of guaranteed money left, he told Wilson.
Houston still owes Culley $17 million, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Some Houston players were frustrated with Culley's in-game communication and decision-making, according to Pelissero.
The Texans' four-win campaign arguably topped preseason expectations for on-field performance given their lack of star power.
The 66-year-old Culley faced several challenges upon his arrival in Houston. Quarterback Deshaun Watson asked for a trade after his relationship with team ownership deteriorated, while franchise legend J.J. Watt requested his release (and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals).
Culley joined the Texans after previously serving as the Baltimore Ravens' assistant head coach, passing game coordinator, and wide receivers coach in 2019 and 2020. He's logged 28 years of NFL experience.
Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
"I have entrusted (general manager) Nick Caserio to lead football performance and I have complete confidence he will find the best leader for our team," McNair said in a statement. " ... We look forward to continuing to build our roster and finding the right coach to lead us forward."
Houston's next head coach inherits several team issues on and off the field, including the situation involving Watson. He didn't play in 2021 and is being investigated by the NFL and police for alleged sexual assault and misconduct. The Texans, who didn't pick until the third round last year, own the third overall selection in 2022.
Eight teams now have head coaching vacancies for 2022.
Culley's exit leaves the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin as the NFL's only current Black head coach.