Chris Scelfo

A veteran coach with experience both on the NFL level and as an FBS head coach, ESPN Courage Award recipient Chris Scelfo was named Houston’s offensive line coach on Feb. 4, 2017.
In 2017, helped the Cougars offense improve in several key performance indicators through November 11, including:
  • Sacks Allowed: improved ranking from #111 in the nation to #31 (#5 in AAC)
  • Tackles for Loss Allowed:  improved ranking from #115 in the nation to #67
  • Rushing Offense:  improved ranking from #99 in the nation to #50
  • RedZone Offense:  improved from #48 in the nation to #33 (#2 in AAC)
Easily relatable to football parents as a parent of an FBS player himself (son Joe just completed his career at NC State and South Alabama), Scelfo joined the Houston program after most recently serving seven seasons as the tight ends coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

While in Atlanta, Scelfo continued the development of tight end Tony Gonzalez who was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in four of his five seasons with the Falcons while the franchise advanced to the NFL Playoffs in four of Scelfo’s seven seasons with the team.

The Falcons ranked in the top 10 in total offense in four of his six season while ranking in top 10 of passing offense in four seasons as well as No. 2 in rushing offense in 2008. Gonzalez ranked as one of the NFL's top four tight ends in five of six seasons.

A coach in the 2011 Pro Bowl and the 2013 Senior Bowl, Scelfo joined Atlanta after eight seasons as head coach of Tulane University, where he ended his tenure as the program’s second winningest coach of all-time. He guided Tulane through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, earning ESPN’s Courage Award in the process.

He is the only coach in Tulane history to win multiple bowl games and successfully graduated 75 percent of his players with 10 being drafted in the NFL including first-round quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey.

Prior to Tulane, he spent nine seasons working with College Football Hall of Famer Jim Donnan, three at Georgia as assistant head coach and offensive line coach, and six at Marshall, including three season as Donnan’s offensive coordinator. During his six years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA national championship four times, winning the 1992 national championship.

Scelfo opened his career with four years as a graduate assistant first at University of Louisiana-Monroe (1986-87), where the program claimed the 1987 FCS Championship, and at Oklahoma (1988-89).

He was a three-year letterman on the offensive line at Louisiana-Monroe, then Northeast Louisiana University, and was a team captain.

A member of the Italian-American Hall of Fame and the New Iberia (La.) High School Athletics Hall of Fame, Scelfo's son Joe was a center for South Alabama before transferring to North Carolina State for one season and played in the 2017 East-West Shrine Game.

Scelfo co-authored the book, Fourth and New Orleans: How Tulane Football Survived the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with Benjamin Hochman, touching on the story of Tulane's 2005 season that was played in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

What They Are Saying About Chris Scelfo...

“The University of Houston just signed its best recruit of 2017. Coach Scelfo was very instrumental in my growth as a player, person and father in the five years we spent together. He is a very positive teacher, communicator and motivator. He will help Houston develop and enhance their student-athletes in every facet of their development.”  
Tony Gonzalez | 14-time Pro Bowler

“He is an amazing guy all-around, not just in coaching. He brings a lot of energy and is very smart. He can definitely rally the troops and loves to help his players develop. He genuinely cares about players and he is going to get players to play great football. He keeps the atmosphere very live which is needed for success.”  Roddy White | Four-time Pro Bowler & Atlanta Falcons all-time leader in receptions, yards and TDs

“He’s a great teacher and motivator. He took a huge gamble on me when no other school would offer me. He not only served as a coach, but as my mentor and father figure that I relied heavily on during my time at Marshall. He played that role with many others as well and continues to play that same role in my life. I call on him whenever, wherever, for whatever, and he always responds. And he’s a heck of a football coach!”  Troy Brown | Three-time Super Bowl Champion & New England Patriots All-Time Receptions Leader

“Chris is a great addition for Major Applewhite. He has a big background in developing players and recruiting, particularly throughout the south and in the Houston area. He is a really good developer of players and can teach great technique. If you want a good offensive line coach, you got one of the best in the business in my mind.”  Jim Donnan | College Football Hall of Fame Coach

Scelfo received his Bachelor's degree from Northeast Louisiana in 1988 and his Master's degree in 1988.

A native of Abbeville, LA, Scelfo was born on September 30, 1963.