Photo: Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

HOUSTON — The Texans will be see a familiar face on the other side of the field twice a year and in the same division starting in 2018.

The Tennessee Titans named Houston Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel its next head coach on Saturday afternoon per a press release and Twitter post.

The move was first reported by Fox 26 in Houston.

It is the first head coaching opportunity for the 42-year old. He is only seven years removed from his final season with Kansas City and final year in the NFL as a player.

The 14-year veteran and three-time New England Patriot Super Bowl Champion spent the last four seasons on staff with Houston as a linebackers coach and later defensive coordinator in 2017. Per Head Coach Bill O’Brien, Romeo Crennel will take Vrabel’s old job as defensive coordinator.

“I am excited to get to work and that work starts now,” Vrabel said in a release on Titans.com. “We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness. Everything we do is going to be geared towards winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive.”


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Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson. Photo courtesy titansonline.com

He’ll be reuniting with Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson, who was working in the Patriots scouting department while Vrabel was a player.

“I have always had a great deal of respect for Mike as a player and as a coach,” Robinson said. “I saw him up close as a player for the Patriots and saw how he prepared himself to be successful on a daily basis. He was the ultimate team-first player, and he embodies that same mindset as a coach. He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level, and put players in position for them to be successful. I am excited to get him in front of our team and watch us grow together as a team.”

Vrabel was one of three finalists interviewed for the position after the Titans decided to part ways with former Head Coach Mike Mularkey. He is scheduled to be introduced Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville.

Tony Venegas is an assistant editor with TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the El Paso region and collegiate and professional football throughout the state. Follow him on Twitter,@advenegas, and read more of his content here.

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