Who Is David Culley? Texans New Hire Will Be Oldest First-Time Head Coach in the NFL

Baltimore Ravens assistant David Culley is set to become the new head coach of the Houston Texans and land his first head coaching job after 27 years in the NFL.

The Houston Chronicle first reported the Texans were on the verge of completing their search for a permanent head coach, before Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed it to ESPN.

"He [Culley] will be who he is every day," Harbaugh, who had previously described the Texans job opening as a "great opportunity," said in a text, according to the broadcaster.

"Has been that guy every day of his career. I'm thrilled for him. Great person. Genuine."

A separate report from NFL Network confirmed the Texans had interviewed Culley on Wednesday and were still working on finalizing the contract with the 65-year-old, who will be the oldest coach in NFL history at the time of his debut.

Culley will become the seventh new head coach of this hiring cycle and the fifth head coach from a minority background in the NFL alongside Robert Saleh of the New York Jets, Ron Rivera of the Washington Football, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steeles and Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins.

As part of the changes made to the Rooney Rule in May last year to incentivize teams to develop and hire minority candidates for the roles of head coach and general manager, the Ravens will receive two third-round compensatory picks in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Culley spent the last two seasons with the Ravens, where he served as the team's assistant head coach, as well as the passing coordinator and wide receivers coach. Baltimore was the latest stop of a nomadic career that has seen the 65-year-old work with six different franchises over a 27-season span.

Culley, who grew up in segregated Tennessee and played quarterback at Vanderbilt, was the wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1994 and 1995, before moving to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the next three seasons.

In 1999, he joined Andy Reid's coaching staff in Philadelphia and followed him to Kansas City when Reid swapped the Eagles for the Chiefs in 2013. After three seasons in Kansas City, Culley took over as Buffalo Bills quarterback in 2017, before moving to the Ravens at the beginning of the 2019 season.

Before his NFL career began in 1994, Culley held a variety of coaching positions at the collegiate level, including wide receivers coach at Vanderbilt and Texas A&M and offensive coordinator at Texas El-Paso over 1989 and 1990, which remains the last time he's held the role of coordinator.

Houston Texans head coach David Culley
David Culley, then wide receiver coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, talks with DeSean Jackson during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field on December 1, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Culley is set to be appointed as the Houston Texans new head coach. Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty

"He'll do a great job," former Texas A&M head coach R.C. Slocum told The Houston Chronicle when asked of Culley's prospects of success with the Texans.

"He is the kind of guy in the clubhouse that players want to play for. He'll rally the guys around him."

Culley, who will be joined on his coaching staff by current Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, become Houston's first permanent head coach since the franchise fired Bill O'Brien in October last year.

O'Brien, who served as the Texans' de facto general manager, lost his job after a disappointing start to the season had left Houston 0-4. Romeo Crennell was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach after O'Brien's firing, but the Texans finished 4-12.

To make things even worse, a series of questionable trades that O'Brien green-lighted during his tenure have the Texans without any first-round pick this season.

The first item on Cully's agenda will be discussing the future of franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been clear in his desire to leave Houston since the Texans hired Nick Caserio as their new GM.

Earlier this month, ESPN and NFL Network both reported Watson was "extremely unhappy" after feeling the franchise did not consult him over the hiring of the former New England Patriots executive.

Watson offered his input on potential replacements for O'Brien and met with Texans owner Cal McNair "several times" to discuss a host of candidates he felt would be a good fit for the franchise.

Similarly, Watson suggested the Texans should interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy for the head coaching vacancy, but both suggestions were overlooked.

While Houston has since interviewed Bieniemy, the relationship with Watson appears to have deteriorated beyond breaking point and two weeks ago ESPN's Adam Schefter said there was a "growing feeling" within the Texans that Watson may have played his last game for the franchise.

Watson threw for a league-high 4,823 yards this season and his 112.4 passer rating was second only to that of MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers.

In Culley's final season in Baltimore, the Ravens led the league in rushing yards but ranked last in passing.