Romeo CrennelRomeo Crennel, former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, returns to the East-West Shrine Game® as coach of the West team. Crennel first coached the game in 2010 when it was played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Crennel, a Virginia native, has deep roots in athletics, specifically football. Named Western Kentucky University’s MVP, the four year starter made the crucial position switch from a defensive to an offensive lineman during his senior year. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physical education, he went on to earn his master’s degree, also from Western Kentucky University. When his time as a collegiate football player came to a close, Crennel turned his attention to coaching at the college level, which he did for nearly 10 years.

In the early 1980s, Crennel transitioned to the NFL, where he joined the New York Giants and spent two seasons as an assistant coach, followed by seven seasons coaching special teams, and three as defensive line coach. Crennel has also held coaching positions with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns, where he served as head coach from 2005 to 2008. In 2007, Crennel and the Browns finished 10-6 and set a franchise record with seven home wins in a row.

After nearly 28 years as an NFL coach, Crennel has several awards to his credit, including five Super Bowl wins as an assistant coach and leading the New England Patriots’ defense to the world championships in 2001, 2003, and 2004 as defensive coordinator. In 2003, Crennel was named the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year.

During the 85th East-West Shrine Game, Crennel experienced the meaning of the game’s slogan, “More than just a game. “At the East-West Shrine Game, everyone involved is a winner,” said Crennel. “However, most importantly, the children of Shriners Hospitals are able to enjoy the fun and friendship of the athletes during the hospital visit.” For Crennel, the opportunity for the players to connect with the patients is what the game is all about.

Crennel offered these thoughts for the 89th East-West Shrine Game players, “Remember to put your best foot forward and to always do your best on and off the field. Understand that football is always more than just a game – it is an opportunity to get involved in your communities and to help others – like the children of Shriners Hospitals.”

Assistant Coaches

Chris Palmer
Steven Smith
Dave Atkins
Bernie Parmalee
Anthony Pleasant
Richard Solomon
Otis Smith
Daron Roberts
Louie Aguiar