Dating all the way back to 1994, David Culley had been in the NFL as an assistant coach. Up until that point, he had a few stops coaching the wide receivers and quarterbacks in college football with stops at UTEP and Texas A&M before getting to join the NFL ranks.
Mainly working as a wide receivers coach, Culley had also spent time mentoring quarterbacks along the way, and just in the decade or so had added senior roles like assistant head coach and passing game coordinator in Baltimore (2019) and assistant head coach with the Chiefs in 2013).
While he was a coach that had garnered respect from his peers around the league, Culley had never been given the role and responsibilities of an offensive coordinator, which certainly helps pave the path to becoming a head coach.
However, the 65-year old Culley bucked that trend when, after meeting with the Houston Texans a few times, was chosen as the new head coach of the organization about to take on a significant rebuild.
But that's not the main focus of the story here.
Instead, I wanted to shine a light on the emotion and story Culley shared with Steve Wyche and Thomas Warren during a conversation recently about what it meant to him to deliver the good news that his decades of experience as an assistant coach were paying off and he was being entrusted with the reigns of an NFL program.
As Culley tells the story, after the Texans decided he was their choice, team ownership arranged for him to make a stop in Tennessee before returning to Baltimore to visit his 94-year old father. He got in at about midnight, went to his dad's place, woke him up, and delivered the news.
"We stayed up from 12 o'clock to 2 o'clock talking about what just happened. It was so special to me. Now I felt validated. I felt validated that my dad had seen that."
"For him to say to me, 'David, I'm so proud of you.' And it's almost like, right now, he's saying that he's 94, but now he feels like 'I can live to 100 because of the way I feel right now, and because of what has just happened to you.'"
In the video, Culley describes what an emotional moment that was, and why it was so important to him.
Really cool perspective on family here and what it means to him from a man that put in some serious time for his shot, and now gets to lead an NFL team.