Tennessee Titans founder and owner Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams Jr. has died. The franchise confirms Adams died Monday morning at his Houston, TX, home of natural causes at age 90.
Several leaders in the National Football League and Nashville community have shared their condolences and memories of Adams.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
"Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator. As a founding owner of the American Football League that began play in 1960, Bud saw the potential of pro football and brought the game to new cities and new heights of popularity, first in Houston and then in Nashville. He was an brilliant entrepreneur with a terrific sense of humor that helped lighten many a tense meeting. His commitment to the best interests of the game and league was unwavering, and his personal along with the team's impact in community relations and philanthropy set a standard for the NFL. Bud was truly a gift to the NFL. We extend our deepest sympathy to his daughters Susan and Amy, and the entire family."
Former Titans head coach, and current St. Louis Rams head coach, Jeff Fisher:
"I'm extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Bud Adams. Mr. Adams gave me my first opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL, and I'm eternally grateful to him for that. We enjoyed a great deal of success together during my 17 seasons with the organization, and I'll cherish those memories for the rest of my life. My respect for Mr. Adams goes well beyond the owner/coach relationship that we shared for many years. He was a pioneer in the football business. He played a key role in creating and sustaining the American Football League, which helped push the popularity of our game to where it is today. My thoughts and prayers are with the Adams family during this difficult time."
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN:
"Tennesseans will remember and always be grateful to Bud Adams for bringing us the excitement of professional football, as well as for his big and generous heart."
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean:
"I want to extend condolences on my behalf, but also on behalf of all the citizens of Nashville, to Mr. Adam's family and his Titans family. Bud Adams is a very important figure in the history of Nashville. Bringing the Titans here was an enormous event in the history of the city. It put us up in the major leagues. It was an event that moved our city forward and has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I had several opportunities to meet with Mr. Adams over the years and he was always a very gracious, kind person. I'm personally thankful for his generosity with the many different charities that he has supported here in Nashville. I'm particularly thankful in recent years for the support the Titans have given us on our city health initiatives, hosting events at LP Field.
"Mr. Adams lived a full life and he will certainly be missed."
Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Jr.:
"I am saddened to hear the news of the passing of Bud Adams. As original AFL team owners, we all shared a common bond and a deep sense of pride in where we started in 1960 to where the NFL is today and how much our fans enjoy the game of professional football. Bud certainly played an important role in the growth and development of our game and today I am remembering with great fondness all the laughs we shared with the special memories over the years. Through it all, our teams played some of the most memorable games in AFL and NFL history. I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Bud's daughters Susan and Amy, and family, and to all of his many friends."
Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt:
"When my father Lamar set out to start a new league to rival the NFL in 1959, the first person he went to visit was Bud Adams. Lamar, Bud and the other visionary owners of the American Football League believed that fans across the country would embrace pro football if given the chance, and they were right.
"Although Lamar's Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs and Bud's Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans were natural rivals on the field, Lamar and Bud enjoyed a friendship that spanned five decades and saw the emergence of pro football as America's Game.
"Our family will always appreciate Bud's spirited and enthusiastic support of my father's 'foolish' idea, and we are saddened today by the news of his passing."
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:
"I consider Bud one of the founders of the game of professional football because of his role in helping to create the American Football League. Loyalty was always a strong trademark of Bud Adams.
"He turned down an opportunity to place an NFL team in Houston because he had already made a prior commitment to Lamar Hunt and the AFL. Bud was a role model for me. He was a great man and a great Texan. He will be missed and remembered."
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