By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: December 19th, 2013 at 4:43 pm EST
The Houston Texans have begun to interview candidates to be their new head coach.
Last month, the Texans fired long-time head coach Gary Kubiak, who was a Houston native. And Wade Phillips is serving as the interim head coach until the end of the season.
Phillips also served as interim head coach earlier this season when Kubiak had a mini stroke. Kubiak would return a week later after getting clearance from his doctors.
The Texans management has interviewed former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Smith was expected to get the first interview with the Texans, as speculated recently.
Smith has sat out this season after not receiving an offer to be a head coach. He last coached the Bears during the 2012 season, when the Bears went 10-6, and was fired after missing the playoffs.
He was the Bears head coach from 2004 through 2012 with a 81-63 record. He also guided the Bears to the playoffs in 2005, 2006, and 2010.
The Bears lost in the NFC Divisional game to the Carolina Panthers. The following year in 2006, the Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
In 2010, the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Conference Championship game.
Besides being the Bears head coach for nearly a decade, he has served as an assistant coach in the NFL since 1996. He was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers coach from 1996 through 2000, before moving on to the St. Louis Rams to be their defensive coordinator from 2001 through 2003.
Kubiak was an offensive-minded coach. And if Smith gets hired, he would be a defensive-mind set to the team.
Smith is not the only candidate expected to interview for the job. They are also expected to pursue Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien, who said that he was staying at Penn State for the long haul after being considered for NFL jobs last year.
They are also considering San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who was the Arizona Cardinals head coach from 2007 through 2012. During his tenure, he guided the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008.
The Texans are rumored to consider Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. However, he recently signed a long-term contract with the Aggies to stay in College Station to continue to build the Aggies powerhouse program.