HOUSTON – It’s been a rough year for Houston’s major sports.
From the Texans to the Rockets to the Astros, the teams are taking a look at the coaching staff.
The reasons the coaches and general managers were let go ranged from losing too many games or disgraceful scandals. While others decided to start a new chapter.
Most importantly, Houston sports fans hope the changes will bring a new era of a winning season.
Here are the five coaches and general managers that were fired in Houston this year:
Daryl Morey - Houston Rockets general manager
Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down Thursday, and the decision was mutual, according to KPRC 2 sources.
Morey joined the team in 2007, and since then, the Rockets made the playoffs 10 times, including the last eight seasons. He is also credited for the blockbuster trade that snatched James Harden from Oklahoma City.
While the Rockets reached the Western Conference finals twice under Morey, the team was unable to bring home a championship, which would be a first since Houston’s consecutive titles in 1994-95.
Morey also infamously sent a tweet that damaged ties between China and the NBA.
Late last year, he tweeted support for the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. The tweet caused businesses in China to cut ties with the Rockets and broadcasters there refused to air the team’s games this season. However, the NBA has since resumed televising games in China.
Rafael Stone, the former executive vice president of basketball operations, was promoted to replace Morey’s position as general manager, according to sources. Stone joined the Rockets in 2004 as general counsel.
Bill O’Brien - Texans head coach and general manager
After an 0-4 start to the season, Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on October 5.
O’Brien added the role of general manager in the offseason and then traded superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for running back David Johnson and draft picks. He received almost universal criticism for the decision, which intensified when Johnson underperformed during the losing streak.
O’Brien finished with a 52-48 record after seven seasons in Houston. The team won the AFC South four times while O’Brien was at the reign.
Houston selected Romeo Crennel, who was the team’s assistant head coach, to serve as interim coach for the rest of the season.
Mike D’Antoni - Houston Rockets head coach
Shortly after the Houston Rockets exited the NBA playoffs, head coach Mike D’Antoni announced he was not returning next season. He was working the current season without a contract extension.
Owner Tilman Fertitta released a statement on September 13. He thanked D’Antoni and his wife Laurel, “for their incredible contributions to the Houston Rockets organization and the Houston community.”
Taking over in 2016, D’Antoni went 217-102 in his four seasons. The team advanced once to the Western Conference finals and three times to the conference semifinals. D’Antoni was also named as the NBA Coach of the Year twice.
A.J. Hinch - Astros manager
Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was fired in January for his role in the sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He was first suspended without pay by Major League Baseball for the 2020 season.
In 2014, Hinch joined the Astros as the 18th manager in franchise history. At the time, the 34-year-old was by far one of the youngest appointed managers in the league. The following year, the Astros made their first playoff appearance in 10 years.
Under Hinch’s leadership, the Astros won the World Series in 2017, Houston’s first major sports championship in over 20 years.
In 2018, Hinch signed a four-year contract extension with the Astros.
After a historic regular season, which included more than 100 wins, the Astros lose the World Series to the Washington Nationals in 2019.
Jeff Luhnow - Astros general manager
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was also suspended without pay and then fired after the sign-stealing investigation.
Luhnow was hired by the Astros in December 2011, then promoted to president of baseball operations and general manager in 2018. He signed a five-year extension and became the 12th general manager in team history.