DeMeco Ryans, an all-time great linebacker at the University of Alabama during the Mike Shula era, has officially been named the new head coach of the Houston Texans. Ryans will reportedly be heading back to the team that drafted him out of Tuscaloosa on a 6-year deal. The development comes just days after his No. 1 defense gave up 31 points to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game.

Ryans' ascension through the coaching ranks has been meteoric. The Bessemer native joined the 49ers staff as a defensive quality control coach in 2017 before being elevated to inside linebackers coach in 2018. He held that position for three seasons and spent the last two as the 49ers defensive coordinator and has been one of the best in the business since then. Now, just six years after making his coaching debut, Ryans holds one of the 32 most coveted positions in coaching.

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Ryans' time in Tuscaloosa was prolific. He spent 2002-2005 at the Capstone and recorded 41 tackles, five sacks, and two interceptions in that time. He took home the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005 as well as being a consensus first-team All-American.

In the NFL, Ryans was taken with the first pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans. He played six years there before closing his career out in Philadelphia for four seasons. In total, he amassed 970 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and seven interceptions in 139 career regular season starts.

Ryans takes over a reeling Houston franchise that has struggled to show any semblance of competence since the 2018 season when it made it to the divisional round of the playoffs under Bill O'Brien. The last two coaches in Houston, David Culley and Lovie Smith, have both been fired after just one season.

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