Zgonina played 17 seasons in the NFL, including three seasons with the Texans from 2007-2009. This will be his first coaching job. Since his final season with the Texans in 2009, he has worked at a family print company–until head coach Gary Kubiak contacted him about joining the coaching staff.
Zgonina was a seventh round pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993. He played in 219 games in 17 seasons, including 48 games with Houston, where he started five games and tallied 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. In his final season in 2009, he was the second-oldest position player behind only Brett Favre.
His experiences as a NFL player should enable a transition into a coaching job fairly easily. Towards the end of his career, he became somewhat of a mentor to the younger players. Whether it was working on drills or techniques, preparing for games or just the little things like simply talking to them, he was there to help. It was during this time period that he had his first thoughts about becoming a coach in the NFL.
Houston also promoted Russell Joyner to Director of Football Information Systems. Joyner has been with the Texans’ organization since the end of the 2010 season. Until this promotion, Joyner has served as the team’s Football Administrations Developer, where he supported football operations such as video, security, coaching, operations, college and pro scouting and administration.
For all of you who are wondering, Zgonina is pronounced SKA-nee-na.