USA TODAY Sports Weekly
Texans tap 49ers’ Ryans
The Houston Texans have found their next head coach, and it’s a face longtime fans of the team will easily recognize.
The Texans have hired San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans to be the sixth head coach in franchise history, the team announced last week.
Ryans, a former linebacker who played 10 seasons in the NFL, was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2006 draft and went on to play six seasons in Houston.
Ryans, 38, is Black and becomes the first person of color hired as a head coach or coordinator during this cycle. He joins new coaches Sean Payton (Broncos) and Frank Reich (Panthers); and coordinators Ryan Nielsen (Falcons), Jim Schwartz (Browns), Kellen Moore (Chargers), Mike LaFleur (Rams), Vic Fangio (Dolphins), Bill O’Brien (Patriots) and Nathaniel Hackett (Jets) as new hires.
Ryans has been a rising star within the NFL coaching ranks, needing only six seasons on the sideline before becoming a head coach. His coaching career started in 2017 as a defensive quality control assistant with San Francisco, before he was elevated to inside linebackers coach. He spent the following three seasons in that role. Coach Kyle Shanahan promoted Ryans to defensive coordinator in 2021.
In his first season leading the defense, the team ranked third in total defense, allowing 310 yards per game, and tied for 10th in scoring (21.5 points per game allowed). In 2022 the Niners progressed and became a dominant force, leading the NFL in total defense (300.6) and scoring defense (16.3) and tied for second with 30 turnovers forced.