Who is DeMeco Ryans? Inside the Houston Texans head coach’s history with Houston, what we know about him and his past

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) (Lachlan Cunningham, 2023 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – DeMeco Ryans is the new head coach for the Texans.

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1. Ryans is a former Texans player

Ryans, a former NFL linebacker, was a standout with the Texans and a beloved fan favorite. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round -- 33rd overall -- of the 2006 NFL Draft. Ryans played for Houston from 2006-2011. He subsequently played for the Philadelphia Eales from 2012-2015. He appeared in 140 games (139 starts) throughout his career and registered 735 tackles, 46 passes defensed, 13.5 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries and seven interceptions.

2. Ryans has ties to the Houston area

Ryans and his wife, Jamila, have three children: two sons, MJ and Micah, and one daughter, Xia. His wife, Jamila, is from the Houston area, according to multiple sources including PlayerWives.com.

3. He’s been honored for his NFL game play.

During his 10-year career, Ryans was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and PFWA Rookie of the Year in 2006, First-Team All-Pro in 2007 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, according to the 49ers.

4. He’s from Alabama.

A native of Bessemer, AL, Ryans played linebacker at the University of Alabama (2002-05). The 49ers wrote, “As a senior, he was a unanimous All-American selection, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2005. Ryans also earned defensive MVP honors in the 2006 Cotton Bowl and was selected as the 2005 Lott Trophy recipient for his combination of athletic excellence and off-the-field achievements.”

5. He has a foundation.

The DeMeco Ryans Foundation. The website for the foundation is currently not functioning, but it was started in 2007 and was designed to “help youth through educational and recreational programs,” according to this feature by the Philly Voice. Jamila was executive director of the foundation at the time the feature was written in 2015.

6. What superhero would Ryans be?

Iron Man, according to wife Jamila.

If Robert Downey Jr. can turn his career around with Iron Man...maybe Ryans has the stuff of the Marvel character too and can turn around the Texans? We’ll have to see.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.