HOUSTON (KIAH) — The Houston Texans will look to a former player to lead their team in 2023, as they have named DeMeco Ryans as their new head coach.

The team announced that Ryans has agreed to become the Texans’ new head coach, hours after completing a second interview with the team at NRG Stadium on Tuesday.  The deal is reported to be for six years.

Ryans, who was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers the last two seasons, emerged as the top candidate to take over in Houston after the Texans let go of Lovie Smith.

“For so many reasons, DeMeco is everything we are looking for in a leader and coach for our organization,” Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair said. “He has a proven track record for developing high-quality players and constantly innovated his defensive scheme over the last six seasons in San Francisco.

“We started this process with the goal of finding someone our fans and city can be proud of and we’ve done just that. While we received a lot of incredible feedback and support for DeMeco from different people, it was our discussions with him and his vision for our football team that made him the right coach to lead us as we continue to evolve as an organization.”

It will be a homecoming for Ryans, who was drafted by Houston in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft as a linebacker. He played six seasons with the Texans, becoming an All-Pro selection and was named to two Pro Bowls.

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans speaks at a news conference before an NFL football practice in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. The 49ers are scheduled to play the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Now, Ryans will have to take over a team that went 3-13-1 last season and has suffered through its third straight losing season. But the Texans will have two first-round picks in this year’s draft and plenty of salary cap space to improve the roster in quick fashion.

“DeMeco is a proven coach with a track record of success who has an innate ability to lead people,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said. “He is progressive in his vision, a great communicator, a connector and somebody that values collaboration. We are working to build a sustainable program that has long-term success and DeMeco is the Coach we feel is the best fit to help us achieve our goals.”

After ending his playing career in Philadelphia in 2016, Ryans entered coaching by joining the 49ers staff as a defensive quality control coach in 2017. He later became linebackers coach the next season until he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021.

“Being the head coach of the Houston Texans is my dream job and my family is thrilled to be back in H-Town,” Ryans said. “I have been around the game of football my entire life and I’ve always had a natural ability to lead others.

“We’re going to build a program filled with players who have a special work ethic and relentless mindset. I understand the responsibility I have to this organization and to the fans of Houston to build a winner and I can’t wait to get to work.”