Tennessee Titans to induct Jeff Fisher, Floyd Reese, late Bum Phillips into team's Ring of Honor
The Tennessee Titans on Wednesday announced that former coaches Jeff Fisher and Bum Phillips and ex-general manager Floyd Reese will be inducted in the franchise's Ring of Honor.
The induction will take place during the 2021 season. All integral figures in the franchise's history, the three accounted for four AFC Championship game berths and a Super Bowl appearance.
"I am so excited to recognize these important figures in our team's history," Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a team release. "Each had a significant hand in the success of their eras."
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Fisher, 63, is the winningest coach in franchise history, posting a 142-120 record from 1994-2010. He led the team to it's only Super Bowl appearance following the 1999 season – Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams – and is the only coach in franchise history to post 13 wins in a season, a mark he reached three times. In 16 full seasons under Fisher, the Titans had just five losing records.
As the coach when the franchise moved to Tennessee from Houston in 1997, Fisher also played a key role in the team's acclimation to a new home.
"To be in a position where I took a call from Amy (Adams Strunk), and shared the conversation with her regarding the organization's intention to put me into the Ring of Honor was just extraordinary," Fisher said in a statement. "It was an emotional moment for me because it was a reminder of everything that the organization has done for me and my family over the years.
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"I have no regrets," Fisher continued. "I owe everything to the Adams family because they gave me that opportunity. We've made Nashville – it's always been our home. The whole Titans family has remained very, very close to us. Our affection for the organization has never wavered."
Reese, 72, was a coach and executive for the Oilers/Titans franchise for 21 years, from 1986-2006. The Titans went to a Super Bowl, advanced to two AFC Championship games and compiled 111 wins in his time as general manager (1994-2006).
Reese hired Fisher and acquired some of the best and most beloved players in team history, including Steve McNair, Eddie George, Frank Wycheck and Jevon Kearse.
After originally joining the Oilers as a linebackers coach in 1986, Reese became the assistant general manager (1990-93) before being elevated to general manager.
"The way Amy explained it, this is one of the highest, if not the highest honor, that we could bestow on somebody that's not in the NFL Hall of Fame," Reese said. "And so that kind of makes you realize that this is special. I know it is special too because there's been so much time and effort that we put in – not just me, but Jeff (Fisher), and everybody involved, I mean, for years and years and years. To have this come true for me is a special treat."
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Phillips, who died in 2013, was the coach of the Oilers from 1975-80, leading the team to a 10-4 record in his first season and reaching the AFC Championship game twice (1978, 1979). He posted a 55-35 record in six seasons.
Phillips originally joined the Oilers as the defensive coordinator in 1974.
"Obviously, it has special meaning to our family," Bum Phillips' son, Wade, said in a statement. "We all thought so much of our dad, and of course the times that he was coaching for the Oilers were just special times for all of us. We're just deeply honored, and my sisters, when Amy called, all cried. That's how much it means."
Phillips will be inducted on Sept. 26, serving as the highlight to an Oilers Homecoming week. Fisher and Reese will be honored together at another game to be determined.
Fisher, Reese and Phillips will join 14 others who are already in the Ring of Honor.
Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.