Sources: Houston Texans hire Jed Hughes, search firm vice chairman, to assist GM search

Houston Texans CEO Cal McNair has hired Jed Hughes, the vice chairman for the search firm Korn Ferry, to help the franchise hire its next general manager and head coach, league sources told ESPN.

Sources around the league believe the Texans want to be comfortable with who their GM will be first before hiring a head coach. Sources said Hughes already has been doing his due diligence in trying to identify candidates for the Texans to pursue.

Hughes was instrumental in the Texans' 2014 search to identify and hire Penn State's Bill O'Brien as their coach and GM. The Texans fired O'Brien on Monday following an 0-4 start. Hughes usually assists one team during the hiring cycle.

McNair said on Wednesday that he plans to wait until after the season to hire a coach and GM. Romeo Crennel will serve as Houston's interim head coach, while executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby will handle GM duties for the rest of the season.

O'Brien went 52-48 and won four AFC South division titles in six-plus seasons with the Texans. He publicly thanked the McNair family Monday and said he is "sorry that we couldn't get this team over the hump."

O'Brien, 50, is the only coach in Texans history with a winning record. He did that while starting 10 different quarterbacks since he took over in 2014, which is tied for second most in the NFL during that time.