NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have named Mike Munchak the 16th head coach in franchise history and the first who was a former player for the team.
In a statement, Titans Owner Bud Adams said, "This is a special day for this franchise as one of our former players takes over the team as the head coach. Mike has been successful at everything he has been associated with at our franchise and I have no reason to believe that he won't be successful as our head coach."
In a news conference at Baptist Sports Park Monday afternoon, the 50-year-old Munchak thanked Mr. Adams, Executive Vice President Steve Underwood and General Manager Mike Reinfeldt for "the opportunity" and for "believing in him."
"I can't tell you how excited I am," he told a gathering of reporters and photographers. "I feel like I hit the jackpot, I really do, standing here as the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans, it's unbelievable for me… it really is."
Munchak assured everyone he's up for the job and isn't going to let Mr. Adams, the organization or the fans down.
"I've been here, I know what we've been doing well and know what needs to change and I promise you that I will do what it takes," he said.
His philosophy, Munchak said, is simple: "Be a pro." He said everyone should, "Know what to do and do it, no excuses, no whining, just do it."
Munchak said he has a vision to present the Lombardi trophy to Mr. Adams and present everyone at the organization a Super Bowl ring and said he'd planned to get started immediately following Monday's press conference.
After a 12-year playing career as a guard for the Houston Oilers, Munchak spent three seasons assisting the coaching staff.
He became the offensive line coach in 1997 and has held that position for the past 14 years.
"I have known Mike for 30 years and have always had the utmost admiration for him as a person, player and coach," Reinfeldt said. "He is a smart football man, who commands respect and accountability from everyone around him and I am confident that he will be successful."
Four of Munchak's players have totaled 10 Pro Bowl invitations and his offensive lines have paved the way for five different running backs to total 11 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
In 2001, he became the fifth franchise player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He earned nine Pro Bowl invitations during his career and was bestowed the honor of having his Oilers No. 63 jersey retired in 1996.
Reinfeldt continued, "There were many qualified candidates for this position, but Mike makes sense on so many different levels. He has seen this franchise from different angles as a player and a coach and has seen the team built and re-built in many different ways to achieve success. His franchise knowledge will be a great asset moving forward. This is a positive situation for us because he has a strong foundation built with us, but he has his own beliefs about how he wants his team to play."
Munchak replaces Jeff Fisher, who spent 16 full seasons as head coach of the Titans before he and the franchise parted ways last month.
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