Former Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans
As the former Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans, Fisher led the Titans for more than 16 full seasons. Fisher holds the franchise record for wins by a head coach with 146 and was the NFL leader in tenure with one team among active coaches. His 147 career wins rank 21st in league history.
From 1999 to 2008, Fisher guided the franchise to six playoff appearances - only two teams (Indianapolis and Philadelphia) have more appearances during that time. During his tenure, his accomplishments include the six playoff appearances (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008), three Division titles (2000, 2002, 2008), two AFC Championship Games (1999, 2002) and one Super Bowl berth (XXXIV). He presided over the most victorious (56 regular season wins and five postseason wins) and successful five-year period in the franchise's 49-year history, between 1999 and 2003.
2008 was one of the most successful regular seasons in franchise history - capturing the AFC South title, matching a franchise best and league high 13 wins, smashing the franchise record for wins to start a season with 10 and eight players earning Pro Bowl invitations. The team was driven by a dynamic run game, an efficient passing game and one of the league's best defenses.
In 2007, Fisher helped a young team take another step in the maturation process and the final rebuilding phase as this new group of Titans qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2003. In guiding the team to a 10-6 record through the toughest division in the NFL, Fisher saw the franchise through a difficult re-tooling period that saw the team build from 4-12 in 2005, to 8-8 in 2006 and a playoff berth in 2007. The team followed the path of previously successful Jeff Fisher teams, ranking fifth in the NFL in rushing offense, fifth in the NFL in yards allowed on defense and recording a 5-3 mark on the road.
After rising to head coaching duties during the 1994 season, Fisher took over a team that was gutted by the emergence of the salary cap and eventually molded them into a consistent winner, overcoming any number of obstacles that were involved with moving the team from Houston to Nashville. The circumstances that surrounded the team between 1995 and 1998 helped bond the team and form an identity of strength and the ability to overcome. Fisher's teams are mentally strong, flourishing on the road where many teams will wilt. Since 1995, the Titans/Oilers have amassed the third best road record in the NFL with a 61-51 mark during that time, including a 6-2 mark during the 2008 campaign.
In 1997 (8-8) and 1998 (8-8), Fisher guided a team that was in a state of transition and laid the groundwork for the success that was to come. As the team arrived in Tennessee, two young stars began to take control as third-year quarterback Steve McNair took over a starting role and second-year running back Eddie George became a workhorse.
After years of fluidity and change, a fresh start and stability finally arrived in 1999 with a new name and the opening of the new stadium; and in this new environment, the new Titans would flourish with the foundation that had been laid. Fisher, the Titans and Middle Tennesseans will fondly remember the accomplishments of the 1999 season, which brought the team its first AFC Championship and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV. Fisher and the Titans defeated AFC Central champion Jacksonville three times in 1999, handing the Jaguars their only losses.
As a Wild Card team, the Titans had the most difficult route to the Super Bowl. Fisher earned his first postseason victory by defeating Buffalo 22-16, and erased a 16-0 deficit against the Rams in one of the biggest displays of heart in any second half of Super Bowl history. The Titans became only the sixth Wild Card team to earn a trip to the Super Bowl since the NFL added the Wild Card playoff team in 1978. Fisher guided the Titans to a streak of 13 consecutive wins against AFC Central Division opponents dating back to 1998. It marked the longest streak in the history of the Central Division and the third longest in the NFL since the 1970 merger.
Building on the success the Titans had during the 1999 season would be tough to accomplish, but Fisher followed the team's first AFC championship in 1999 with an AFC Central crown and the league's best record in 2000. It was the first time in franchise history that the Titans/Oilers owned the NFL's best record (13-3) and only the third time the club won the AFC Central.
In 2000, Fisher became the fifth coach in NFL history to lead his team to consecutive 13-win seasons, joining Mike Ditka (Chicago Bears, 1985-86), George Seifert (San Francisco, 1989-90), Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills, 1990-91) and Mike Holmgren (Green Bay Packers, 1996-97). The defense reached a new level of success in 2000, earning the number one ranking in the NFL for yards allowed and surrendering the third lowest point total in the league since 1977.
One of his best coaching jobs came in 2002. The Titans were poised to rebound from a disappointing 2001 season which was plagued by injury. Tennessee got off to a 1-4 start and people on the outside began to doubt, but Fisher kept the team on an even keel and rallied the players to win 11 of the next 12 games, capture the AFC South title and earn a place in the AFC Championship Game. Fisher recognized that it would take time for the team to come together as nine new starters became familiar with the "Titans Way" of football. The Titans thrived in 2002 against the best teams, posting an NFL-best (tied with Oakland) 6-2 mark against teams with a winning record during the regular season. For his accomplishments, he was named NFL Coach of the Year by Football Digest and AFC Coach of the Year by the 101 Awards in Kansas City.
In 2003, Tennessee reached the Divisional round of the playoffs for the fourth time in five years after earning a Wild Card berth with their 12-4 mark. Tennessee continued a tradition of great play at home, posting a 7-1 record at LP Field. While the defense ranked first against the run, the offense scored the second most points in franchise history (435) and became just the third franchise since 1970 to score 30 or more points in six consecutive games. On the individual side, quarterback Steve McNair earned NFL co-MVP honors, becoming only the second player in franchise history to win the honor (Earl Campbell).
During the 2004 season, the Titans struggled to overcome an array of injuries that by the end of the season accounted for 135 games missed by starters, including season-ending injuries to 10 starters, and resulted in a 5-11 record.
Also in 2004, Fisher became the fourth youngest coach (46) to win 90 regular season games since 1960. Only John Madden (41), Don Shula (41), and Bill Cowher (44) were faster to 90 wins.
The 2005 season also was a year of youth, as the Titans fielded the youngest team in the league and youngest NFL team in over a decade. Escaping from salary cap difficulties in a single season, the team was forced to jettison productive players who provided veteran leadership. This combination of youth and inexperience was the primary reason for the team's 4-12 record.
In 2005, with a win over the Houston Texans (10/9/05), he became just the 17th coach to reach the 100-win mark with one team.
In 2006, Fisher showed his experienced leadership skills in guiding a team that started 0-5 and was led by a rookie quarterback to an 8-8 record by winning eight of the last 11 contests, including a six-game win streak through November and December to finish one game short of the playoffs. Quarterback Vince Young earned Rookie of the Year honors and the offense posted the sixth highest rushing total in franchise history - the second highest in the Fisher coaching era (1997). Despite having the NFL's second youngest team on opening day, it was a team that learned to win close games, registering a 7-4 record in games decided by seven points or fewer (second most wins in that category in the NFL) and six come-from-behind victories.
During the 2006 season, Fisher became the first coach in franchise history to lead the team in 200 contests, reaching the milestone in a game against Baltimore (11/12/06). He became only the 12th coach in NFL history to coach 200 games with one team, joining George Halas, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Curly Lambeau, Bud Grant, Steve Owen, Bill Cowher, Joe Gibbs, Hank Stram and Marv Levy (Mike Shanahan joined the list in December of 2006 to make 13 coaches).
Fisher originally joined the Oilers' coaching staff on Feb. 9, 1994, after spending two seasons as the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Fisher was a perfect fit for the Oilers, who were looking for a young, aggressive coach with experience in the "46" defense. Fisher had worked with the "46" for many years with former Oilers Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan. Fisher took over a defense that achieved dominant status in 1993, but had lost several key components to free agency. He was elevated to head coach on Nov. 14, 1994, replacing Jack Pardee, for the final six games of the season.
Fisher officially began his coaching career as an assistant for Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986, tutoring the defensive backs for three seasons before becoming the NFL's youngest defensive coordinator in 1988. One year later, under Fisher's tutelage, the Eagles' defense led the NFL in interceptions (30) and quarterback sacks (62). In 1990, Philadelphia's defense paced the league in rushing defense and ranked second in quarterback sacks.
In 1991, Fisher headed west to be reunited with his college coach John Robinson, serving as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator before joining the 49ers one year later.
A former defensive back at the University of Southern California, Fisher played for Robinson in a star-studded defensive backfield that included future NFL stars Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith and Joey Browner. Former Titans offensive lineman Bruce Matthews also was one of Fisher's USC teammates. Fisher's career statistics included five interceptions and 108 tackles. The versatile Fisher also served as the Trojans' backup kicker and earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors in 1980.
Originally a seventh-round draft selection of the Chicago Bears in 1981, Fisher appeared in 49 games as a defensive back and return specialist in five NFL seasons. He earned a Super Bowl ring after Chicago's 1985 Super Bowl season, despite spending the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury that prematurely ended his playing career. During that season, Fisher began his post-playing career by assisting Ryan as an "unofficial" coach while the Bears ultimately defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. He left Chicago in 1985 holding a number of team records including: number of punt return yards for a season with 509 yards in 1981, number of punt returns in a season with 58 in 1984, and number of punt returns in one game with eight on Dec. 16, 1984, at Detroit. He also recorded the longest punt return by a Bear in 39 years with an 88-yard return for a touchdown on Sept. 20, 1981, against Tampa Bay.
A native of Southern California, Fisher was a high school All-America wide receiver for the Toreadors of Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Calif. Fisher is an avid fisherman and golfer. He also does considerable work off the field with little accolade. He generously donates time and money to a number of different charities, including hosting a celebrity softball game that raises money for local charities, a coach's clinic for youth/high school coaches in the Mid-South and serves as spokesman for the Country Music Kid's Marathon as well as the Jason Foundation.
He also gives back to the NFL, serving on the NFL Competition Committee since 2000 and as a co-chairman of the committee since 2001. The committee is instrumental in guiding the league through rule changes and ways to improve the game.
Fisher completed his first marathon when he ran in the Country Music Marathon in 2002. In 2001, Fisher was named the winner of the Horrigan Award, given by the Pro Football Writers of America to the NFL representative that is the most cooperative with the media. Additionally, Fisher was named the 2000 Tennessean of the Year by Nashville's Tennessean and 1999 Sports Person of the year by the Nashville Sports Council.
Fisher has three children, sons Brandon and Trent, and daughter Tara.
It May have Cost Jeff Fisher a Pair of Glasses, But He Dodged a Bullet..
Turf Show Times
It was reported the new St. Louis Rams' head coach - Jeff Fisher - threw his glasses in frustration when the choice was announced. My, oh my, how a year can change things...
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