The Houston Texans have hired Reggie Herring as linebackers coach and Vance Joseph as defensive backs coach. The Texans also announced they have also reached agreements with John Butler as a defensive assistant and Jim Ryan as an offensive assistant.
Herring worked with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in Dallas, while Joseph has nine years of experience as a defensive backs coach. Butler and Ryan will both work with special teams coordinator Joe Marciano as well, as both served as special teams coordinators in their previous coaching positions.
Herring will embark on his second tenure with the Texans and Phillips. From 2002-03, Herring served as the Texans linebackers coach and helped former Texans LB Jamie Sharper lead the NFL with 164 tackles in 2003. Prior to his most recent appointment in Houston, Herring served as linebackers coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 2008-10 while Phillips was head coach. Dallas OLB DeMarcus Ware led the NFL with a combined 46.5 sacks in that time, including the second-most sacks ever by a linebacker in a season and league-best 20.0 in 2008.
In addition to his successes as an NFL coach, Herring spent 25 years in the collegiate ranks, coaching some of the country’s best defenses. Herring spent 2005-07 as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Arkansas and served as the interim head coach for the Razorbacks in the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Herring’s defense helped the Arkansas win the 2006 Southeastern Conference Western Division and earn two postseason bowls.
Before going to Arkansas, Herring coached Texans DE Mario Williams while serving as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina State in 2004, where his defense led the country in total defense and pass efficiency defense and was second in total pass defense. From 1994-2001, Herring coached linebackers at Clemson and added the title of defensive coordinator in 1997.
Herring's first coordinator experience came at TCU from 1992-93. He coached linebackers at Auburn from 1986-91 and began his coaching career in 1981 as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State under head coach Jimmy Johnson. He coached linebackers at OSU from 1982-85.
Joseph spent the last six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, including the last five as the secondary coach. Prior to his stint with the 49ers, Joseph spent six years coaching in the college ranks. He served as defensive backs coach at Wyoming (2002), Colorado (2002-03) and Bowling Green (2004) before moving on to join Mike Nolan’s staff in San Francisco as the secondary assistant. Joseph began his coaching career at his alma mater, Colorado, serving as a graduate assistant from 1999-2001.
Joseph also brings with him professional playing experience. He made the transition from college quarterback at Colorado from 1990-94, to NFL cornerback. Joseph signed and played with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1995 and played for the Indianapolis Colts in 1996, compiling two interceptions over the course of 17 career games.
Joseph was born and raised in Marrero, La. and earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Colorado in 1994.
Butler spent the last four seasons as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Minnesota. Last year, junior linebacker Gary Tinsley received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the conference’s media and two Butler-coached linebackers received all-conference recognition in 2009.
As special teams coordinator, Butler presided over one of the best units in the Big Ten during his tenure in Minneapolis. The Gophers averaged better than 22 yards per kick return in three of his four seasons and held their opponents to less than 20 yards per return in two seasons. Minnesota’s punt coverage unit was one of the best in the country in 2008 and 2009, holding opponents to an average of just 8.1 yards per return in that two-year span.
Butler helped then-freshman Troy Stoudermire rank second in the Big Ten and 26th nationally in 2008 with a 25.8-yard kick return average and coached second-team All-Big ten punter Justin Kucek in 2007 when Kucek averaged 42.7 yards per punt.
Butler has coached special teams for the last 10 years, serving as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Harvard from 2003-06 and the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Southwest Texas State from 2001-02. The 1995 graduate of Division III Catholic University broke into the coaching ranks as the secondary coach during his senior year before taking over as the defensive coordinator in 1996.
Ryan played 10 seasons with the Denver Broncos as a linebacker from 1979-88 and played in Super Bowls XXI and XXII. He also spent time playing for current Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips during his playing career. Ryan spent the 2010 season as the special teams coordinator with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL and also worked with the team’s linebackers.
Ryan began his NFL coaching career began in November, 2004 when he joined the Broncos as a volunteer defensive assistant. He was hired as a full-time defensive assistant in 2005. After two years assisting with the defense, Ryan worked as an offensive assistant in 2006. He returned to the defensive side of the ball as the linebackers coach from 2007-08. He also served as a Texans coaching intern during the spring of 2010.