Culley is relieved of duties as head coach for Houston Texans

Sparta friends and family tell ‘Forever Warrior’ to ‘come on home’


David Culley spent 348 days as head coach of the Houston Texans, and he told The Expositor it was every bit the experience he was hoping for.

“It was everything I thought it would be,” Culley said and continued by saying  he loved every minute of his NFL head coaching experience with the Houston Texans. “It was a pretty good gig. I loved working for this franchise and coaching these guys. I loved the coaching staff I had around me.”

Culley is one of White County’s most accomplished Warrior alums (Class of 1973), having held many positions in both the college and professional coaching ranks after finishing his careers as quarterback for the White County Warriors and the Vanderbilt Commodores. Before landing his latest “gig,” Culley spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens serving as position coach and passing game coordinator and even as an assistant coach with the Ravens.

While Culley enjoyed his year as a head coach, his team didn’t always get the results he was hoping for, finishing at third in the AFC South with a 4 and 13 record for the year.

“All wins are important wins and feel good,” Culley said when asked if any game stood out to him and stated that beating the division leaders and AFC number one seed Tennessee Titans was no more important than beating the Jacksonville Jaguars who finished behind the Texans in the division. “The entire experience of being head coach here is a highlight reel for me.”

Culley said he understands that being relieved from his position with the Texans is part of the business, saying that he’s been around the NFL long enough to know that’s how it works.

“I’ve never been fired as a head coach before, so that’s another new experience,” he laughed, “but it’s all good. I’m just thankful that they gave me the opportunity to be here this year and to work with this organization.”

As for what’s next for the 66-year-old, now ex-NFL head coach, Culley said he’s not rushing to make any decisions.

“First thing I’m going to do is get these old knees fixed,” he said. “I was told to do it four years ago, but I haven’t taken the time to do it. Now I’m finally getting it done.”

Culley said that after knee surgery, scheduled for Jan. 24, he plans to take the full six to eight weeks recovery time and spend it at home.

“I’m going to enjoy my dog and my cat and chill with my wife,” he said. “I’m in no hurry to make decisions on my future.”

With Culley’s dismissal from the Houston Texans, there are currently eight head coaching vacancies in the NFL. Even if he is not selected for one of those positions, filling those means there will be new staff positions open in multiple teams across the league.

And, for Culley, he once said the original goal was to coach his hometown White County Warriors, something he still hasn’t had the opportunity to do.

There is absolutely no reason for Culley to rush things. Watching how things play out across the NFL, while simultaneously watching his pets and enjoying some much-earned quiet time after a year of coaches’ meetings, player meetings, media meetings, and all things that come with that once-in-a-lifetime experience of being a first-year NFL coach, will have him ready for whatever adventure comes next for one of White County’s favorite Warriors.      


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