Jack Easterby’s rapid climb up the Houston Texans’ front office chain has culminated in him having all of the power.
Houston fired longtime head coach Bill O’Brien, who also served as the Texans’ general manager, after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season.
Veteran defensive coordinator and former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel will serve as Houston’s interim coach for the rest of the year.
That leaves Easterby, the team’s executive vice president of football operations, in charge of off-field decisions for now.
But as the Houston Texans begin a new era, they may also have to deal with issues on Easterby’s resume.
Jack Easterby is Houston’s new power player
After poor coaching in the AFC divisional round and the controversial offseason trade of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, it appeared Bill O’Brien needed a breakout 2020 season to save his career.
Unfortunately for O’Brien, he only lasted four winless games before Houston cut him loose. O’Brien had coached the Texans since 2014 and went 52-48 in six-plus seasons.
O’Brien won at least nine games in all but one of his first six seasons and won four AFC South Division titles.
Houston’s inability to ever move past the AFC divisional round, though, partially cost O’Brien his job. Despite how things ended, football fans shouldn’t be surprised to see O’Brien, who turns 51 on October 23, pop up in job searches this offseason.
Not fired alongside O’Brien was Jack Easterby, the Texans’ executive vice president of football operations. Easterby was promoted to that role after he joined the Texans as their executive vice president of team development in April 2019.
Easterby has had an unconventional career path
Jack Easterby has had an interesting rise from college athlete to one of the NFL’s most powerful front office executives.
A standout basketball player and golfer at Newberry College, a Division II school in South Carolina, Easterby spent several years working as the University of South Carolina’s character coach.
Easterby worked in character development for the Kansas City Chiefs (2011-12) and New England Patriots (2013-18). When Houston hired Easterby in the team development role, it became his position related to the team’s business and financial decisions.
Jack Easterby had issues with his resume
Jack Easterby already has his first controversy to deal with, and it has nothing to do with the Texans’ 0-4 start.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk published a story involving a rumor that Easterby lied about his 2004 stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Florio wrote that another executive alerted him about a glaring inaccuracy in Easterby’s online bio.
In March 2020, the Texans said Easterby served as “assistant to the director of football operations” in Jacksonville in 2004, his first NFL stint.
Houston later removed that portion of his bio and wrote, “Easterby gained his first NFL experience in the summer of 2004 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, helping in football operations and public relations.”
Houston explained the error in a statement the team issued to PFT.
“Meaningless oversight in a bio from an entry-level position in Jacksonville 16 years ago. This had no bearing on our decision to hire him. . . . His employment paperwork was accurate with the correct description of his internship.”
The issue may not be a big deal to some. But people lost their jobs for similar errors — Florio noted George O’Leary left the Notre Dame head coaching job in 2001 “after irregularities emerged in his playing history and educational background.”
O’Leary later took over the UCF football program and turned them into one of the nation’s top mid-major teams.
Easterby had not addressed the controversy as of publication.