The Texans are hiring 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans to be the franchise’s new coach on a six-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.  

Ryans steps into a Houston organization that finished this past season 3-13-1. The former star of the Texans defense as a player will now look to repair a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2019 (10–6).  

Houston fired coach Lovie Smith just hours after beating the Colts 32–31 to finish out the 2022 season. The win came at a price, as the Texans lost the No. 1 pick in the ’23 NFL draft and will instead have the second selection. 

Smith spent just one season as the team’s coach. Before him, David Culley led the team for one year, finishing the 2021 season with a 4–13 record before being fired. If Ryans can last in Houston longer than one full year, he will have already outdone his predecessors. 

News of Ryans becoming the frontrunner in the Houston search first emerged over the weekend, after he interviewed with the Texans on Jan. 20 and left a strong impression on the front office. 

After a standout career with the Texans as a linebacker, Ryans transitioned to coaching after retiring from his playing career, and has quickly become one of the top young coaches in the sport.

Ryans oversaw the NFL’s top defense this season with the 49ers in just his second season as their defensive coordinator, and was linked to several openings as a result. In addition to the Texans, 

Ryans also interviewed with the Broncos and Colts for their respective vacancies, but the reunion in Houston made too much sense for both sides not to pursue.