The family of the late Bud Adams is taking control of the Tennessee Titans, naming his son-in-law Tommy Smith president and chief executive officer of the team.
Smith issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that Adams’ daughters Susie Adams Smith and Amy Adams Hunt will be co-chairpersons. Grandson Kenneth Adams IV will join the Titans’ board of directors.
”We will be taking all the necessary steps, in concert with the league office, to remain in compliance with league rules in our ownership structure,” Smith said in his statement. ”That process will not be immediate, but it has begun. Until we gain that approval, we will stay out of the spotlight, but know that we are directing the organization and staying informed of daily activities.”
Smith also thanked family, friends and fans who reached out to them since Adams died Oct. 21 at the age of 90, saying letters and stories kept them going during a difficult week.
The family held a memorial service for Adams on Monday in Houston, and Smith’s statement is the first comment from the Adams’ family since his death.
Smith noted he has been involved with this franchise for decades, knowledge that will help during this transition. He also endorsed the Titans’ work earlier this year spending more than $100 million adding 20 new players trying to bounce back from a 6-10 record in 2012. Smith said the family has been consistently updated on everything from football operations to business decisions.
”We want our fans to know that we have the best interest of the franchise in mind and we share both Bud’s passion for the game and his commitment to the city of Nashville and the Mid-South Region,” Smith said. ”We are excited for what lies ahead for this franchise and our fans.”
The Titans currently are 3-4, and coach Mike Munchak is under contract through 2014. Munchak said Tuesday night on his weekly radio show that Smith was very involved in the team’s relocation from Houston to Tennessee with Adams once wanting his son-in-law to move to Nashville to oversee the team.
”He has great, great knowledge of the players we have, how they’re playing, what we need to improve on …,” Munchak said of Smith. ”He’s very in the loop on what we’re doing. He wants a winner as badly as Mr. Adams did. Same way, he’s going to do whatever it takes to accomplish the same thing we’ve been trying to do.”