Bud Adams
American Football player
Bud Adams
Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr. is the owner of the Tennessee Titans' National Football League franchise. He was instrumental in the founding and establishment of the former American Football League. Adams became a charter AFL owner with the establishment of the Titans franchise, which was originally known as the Houston Oilers. He is the senior owner (by time) with his team in the National Football League, a few months ahead of Buffalo Bills' owner Ralph Wilson.
Biography
Bud Adams's personal information overview.
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News
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Texans middle linebacker Brian Cushing nominated for Salute to Service Award
Houston Chronicle - over 1 year
Texans middle linebacker Brian Cushing has been nominated for the annual Salute to Service Award given to an NFL player committed to honoring and supporting the military community. The award, presented by the USAA and the NFL, will announce finalists in January, with the winner to be recognized at the NFL Honors awards show in San Francisco before Super Bowl 50. Cushing’s foundation held a charity benefit to assist military veterans and their families, raising more than $250,000. Past winners of the award include Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Carolina Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman and the late Tennessee Titans and Oilers owner Bud Adams, a World War II veteran. aaron.wilson@chron.com twitter.com/AaronWilson_NFL  
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
James Dolan Email Casts Adam Silver in New Light
Huffington Post Sports - about 2 years
To the surprise of no one, New York Knicks inheritor James L. Dolan proved himself a bully and a jerk this week when he sent an email to a lifelong Knicks fan calling him a miserable person and an "alcoholic maybe." To further call his own intelligence into question, Dolan then told the fan (addressed as Mr. Bierman) to "start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don't want you." While the actions taken by Dolan come as no shock, the lack of action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver creates a state of bewilderment. Firstly, someone should remind Dolan that rooting for the Nets is a statistical upgrade over his woeful Knickerbockers. In fact, rooting for any other team would be an upgrade, as Dolan's Knicks currently have the worst record in the entire Basketball Association. Perhaps Dolan was trying to do Mr. Bierman a favor. More likely, Dolan was just proving himself thoughtless and shortsighted, two traits that come as no revelation to any resident of the five borough ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post Sports article
Texans will bring in Mike Munchak to interview for offensive line job
Houston Chronicle - about 3 years
Texans owner Bob McNair hired his new head coach from Penn State, and now he might be getting one of the greatest players in Nittany Lions history. Coach Bill O’Brien, who coached Penn State the last two seasons, will interview Mike Munchak on Friday about becoming the Texans’ offensive line coach. Munchak played for coach Joe Paterno at Penn State from 1978-81 and interviewed for the school’s head coaching job after he was fired last week as the Tennessee Titans’ head coach. On Thursday, O’Brien hired Ohio State assistant Mike Vrabel, who won three Super Bowl rings as a linebacker with New England, to coach the Texans’ linebackers. O’Brien wants to have some assistants with NFL experience. Vrabel played 14 years in the NFL, including eight with the Patriots. If he gets Munchak, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for his offensive line and Romeo Crennel as his defensive coordinator, O’Brien will have two former NFL head coaches on his staff. If O’Brien hires Muncha ...
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Titans will honor later owner Bud Adams by wearing a patch on their jerseys rest of season
Fox News - over 3 years
The Tennessee Titans will be wearing a patch on their jerseys the rest of the season honoring their late owner Bud Adams starting Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Commissioner Roger Goodell, Texans owner Bob McNair among NFL dignitaries at Bud Adams’ memorial service
Houston Chronicle - over 3 years
Oilers/Titans owner Bud Adams would have been pleased at some of the stories told at his memorial service today at Second Baptist Church. Adams, who died at 90 last week, also would have been pleased with a turnout that included NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and owners like Bob McNair, Clark Hunt (Kansas City), Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Tom Benson (New Orleans) and Michael Bidwill (Arizona). Dr. Ed Young presided over the service. Joe Browne, Adams’ close friend from the NFL, and Mike Munchak, the Titans’ coach who has been with the organization since 1982, gave the eulogies. “It’s a big loss,” Goodell said. “Bud was such a big part of our history. He had such a unique perspective on the sport. “Bud was a great sportsman. He loved pro football. He loved playing such a big role in the development of the sport. He liked to reach out and share his views on football, where we came from and the challenges we faced.” McNair attended the service with his wife, Janice. They res ...
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Bud Adams memorial service on Monday, Oct. 28
Houston Chronicle - over 3 years
A memorial service for Bud Adams, the owner of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, will be Monday (Oct. 28) at 1 p.m. at Second Baptist Church at 6400 Woodway in Houston. A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday at George H. Lewis and Sons at 1010 Bering Dr. in Houston. Adams, who brought pro football to Houston as one of the founders of the AFL, was found dead at his River Oaks home this past Monday. Adams’ death came just days after Bum Phillips, the coach of some of Adams’ best Oilers teams passed away on Friday. A service for Phillips is at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 29) at Lakewood Church, 3700 Southwest Freeway in Houston.
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Friends recall Adams’ devotion to football
Houston Chronicle - over 3 years
Tennessee Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, the longtime Houston resident whose death at age 90 was announced Monday, was remembered fondly by colleagues and friends who spanned his lifetime in pro football. Adams, who founded the Oilers in 1960 as one of the charter teams of the American Football League and moved the franchise to Tennessee after the 1996 season, died at his home in River Oaks from what was believed to be natural causes. “Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “(He) 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 a 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 standa ...
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Bob Lanier on Bud Adams: ‘two old fighters … developed a friendly relationship’
Houston Chronicle - over 3 years
Former Houston mayor Bob Lanier, whose dispute with Oilers owner Bud Adams over a proposed new stadium was followed by Adams’ decision to move the Oilers to Tennessee, said today in the wake of Adams’ death that time had mellowed their longtime disagreements. “I remember his bringing the AFL to Houston, the signing of Billy Cannon (in 1960) to give the team a star, when he hired Bum Phillips, when he hired Earl Campbell and when he fired Bum and traded Earl,” Lanier said in a statement. “After the team left town and a few years had passed,  he wrote me a nice letter when I left office. I feel like we are two old fighters that fought in the ring but in their waning years developed a friendly relationship.”
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Tennessee Titans' Bud Adams dies
CNN - over 3 years
K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr., the founder and owner of the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers football franchise and a co-founder of the American Football League, died Monday morning at his home in Houston, the team said.
Article Link:
CNN article
NFL commissioner: Bud Adams a ‘pioneer and innovator’
Houston Chronicle - over 3 years
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: “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.”
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bud Adams
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2013
    Age 90
    Adams died of natural causes at his home in Houston at age 90 in 2013.
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  • 2011
    Age 88
    He gained his 400th career victory in the 2011 season finale when his Titans defeated the team that replaced his Oilers in Houston, the Texans.
    More Details Hide Details His franchise made 21 playoff appearances in 53 seasons, eighth among NFL teams since 1960. Ownership of the Titans is now controlled by the consortium of the children and grandchildren—Susan (with her husband), Amy, and Kenneth IV (eldest son of Kenneth III).
    Multiple conflicts between Adams, Jeff Fisher, and Vince Young led to the latter two being terminated in January 2011.
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  • 2009
    Age 86
    He attended River Oaks Baptist Church in Houston. He and his wife Nancy Neville Adams were married for 62 years, until her death in February 2009 at the age of 84.
    More Details Hide Details They had two daughters, Susan and Amy, and a son, Kenneth S. Adams III, each of whom (and their children) are registered Cherokee. Their son died in June 1987 at the age of 29 from apparent suicide.
  • 2007
    Age 84
    As a result of limited on-field success and the subsequent drop in fan support and ticket sales, Adams announced in October 2007 that the Kats would immediately cease operations.
    More Details Hide Details Adams was an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He had served on the executive committee of the Cherokee National Historical Society.
  • 2004
    Age 81
    By 2004, Adams and the Predators finally hammered out a mutually acceptable lease agreement.
    More Details Hide Details Immediately afterward, it was announced that the new Nashville Kats franchise would begin play in the Arena Football League's 2005 season. Late in 2004 it was announced that country singer Tim McGraw had bought into the Kats franchise as a minority owner. This second Kats franchise reclaimed the name, logo, and Nashville history of the earlier franchise as its own (The original Kats franchise continued to operate as the Georgia Force until folding in 2008; similarly, that franchise was reincarnated in 2011 when the existing AFL team Alabama Vipers relocated to the Atlanta area and assumed the Georgia Force identity).
  • 2002
    Age 79
    They then won the AFC South in the 2002 season with an 11-5 record and made it as far as the Conference Championship, falling to a high powered, hard hitting Oakland Raiders team at the McAfee Coliseum. After the 2003 season the team advanced only to the AFC Divisional Playoffs, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. 2005 was the team's worst season since its arrival in Tennessee, and it finished with an overall record of 4 - 12.
    More Details Hide Details They would not return to the playoffs again until 2007, when they sealed a playoff berth on the last day of the season. 2008 would see the Titans climb to the top of the AFC with a 13-3 record, but they were then knocked out of the playoffs by the Ravens in controversial fashion. During the Ravens' game-winning drive, a 'Delay of Game' was not called after the play clock had hit for several seconds, which enabled the Ravens to go on to kick the game-winning field goal. In the following season, the Titans had a woeful 0-6 start, including a 59-0 beating by the Patriots. The team then managed to finish at .500, after a change at quarterback, likely saving the job of long-time coach Jeff Fisher. Adams was widely criticized for his decision to return to the role of team president rather than renewing the contract of the existing one. Reportedly Adams has arranged his affairs in such a way as to ensure his family would and did retain ownership of the team following his death.
  • 2001
    Age 78
    In 2001, Adams purchased the rights to operate an Arena Football League expansion franchise in Nashville for a reported $4 million.
    More Details Hide Details He found it impossible at first to negotiate a favorable lease for the use of the Gaylord Entertainment Center (now called Bridgestone Arena) from that facility's primary tenant and operator, the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators. A previous AFL team (the original Nashville Kats owned by Mark Bloom) had been forced by an unfavorable lease agreement to leave Nashville and move to Atlanta (with this team thus becoming known as the Georgia Force). This lease agreement resulted in sizable financial losses despite average attendance of over 10,000 per home game for the original Kats. Motivated by bitter memories of being a secondary tenant at the Astrodome, Adams briefly considered either financing the renovation of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium for use as an indoor football venue, building an entirely new facility with a seating capacity of 12,000 or so (dropped when Adams was convinced that the potential $30 million price tag for such a building he had apparently initially been quoted was wildly optimistic), or expanding the Titans' existing indoor practice facility (at "Baptist Sports Park", named for a local hospital) for use as an Arena venue. As negotiations with the Predators dragged on and contingency planning continued, the Arena Football League extended his option on the new Nashville franchise at least twice.
  • 1998
    Age 75
    With the team at its new stadium, the following year was one of major changes. During the 1998 season, Adams announced that the team would change its name to one better suited for its new home, the addition of navy blue to the team's color scheme, and that the team would be considered the continuation of the former Oilers franchise, allowing them to retain all their team records.
    More Details Hide Details He announced he would open a Hall of Fame at the new stadium to honor the greatest players from both the Houston era and the present Tennessee era. A blue-ribbon committee selected "Titans" to be the team's new name. Upon gaining their new identity and new stadium, the newly christened Tennessee Titans received a huge boost in support and excitement among the Nashville community. The Titans proceeded to finish the 1999 regular season with a 13–3 record, qualifying as a wild-card team. In their first-round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, they won on a wild, controversial last-minute kickoff return play called the "Home Run Throwback" by the special teams coaching staff. Due to the last minute game-deciding nature of this play and the accompanying radio play call by Titans Radio's Mike Keith, it is more commonly known as the "Music City Miracle". The kickoff, caught by fullback Lorenzo Neal, was handed off to tight end Frank Wycheck, who made a lateral pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson. Dyson ran the ball 75 yards down the sideline while Buffalo's defense had converged on Wycheck on the other side of the field. Many Bills' fans contended it was an illegal forward pass. The officials ruled it a lateral on the field and confirmed it was a lateral after reviewing the play via officials' in-game replay review. Subsequent detailed forensic video analysis after the fact has also conclusively demonstrated that it was indeed a lateral.
    As a result, Adams scrapped plans to play the 1998 season at the Liberty Bowl, and opted to play at Vanderbilt instead.
    More Details Hide Details Only four of the eight regular-season home games at Vanderbilt sold out for the 1998 season. The move to Tennessee was beginning to be seen as a complete failure. To make matters worse, a major tornado had hit downtown Nashville area, tearing directly through the new stadium's construction site and causing two tower cranes to collapse. The completion of the new stadium would seemingly be delayed again; the contractors managed to compensate however, ultimately allowing the team to move into their new stadium. Oilers players' participation in the post-tornado cleanup proved to be a public-relations bonanza for Adams and his team, as did Adams's large charitable contribution for relief for the storm's victims. Due to this, there were public suggestions to rename the team the "Tennessee Twisters".
    After Adams met several times with then-Nashville mayor Phil Bredesen, they announced a deal to bring the Oilers to Nashville for the 1998 season to a new 68,000-seat stadium (originally called Adelphia Coliseum, now known as Nissan Stadium).
    More Details Hide Details It was to be built largely with city and state funds, across the Cumberland River from downtown Nashville. Nashville opponents of this arrangement forced the issue to a referendum vote; it passed easily, with over 57% of those voting in favor.
  • 1995
    Age 72
    When the move was announced shortly after the end of the 1995 season, Adams's opponents in Houston attempted to block the move.
    More Details Hide Details The biggest example of this was when then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, whose district included portions of Houston and its suburbs, introduced a bill in Congress banning the move. However, it did not pass. Other opponents of the move filed their own lawsuits, but all were dismissed. By the start of the 1996 season, support for the Oilers had practically vanished. The Oilers played most of their games before crowds of fewer than 20,000, and they looked even smaller due to the spacious configuration of the Astrodome. The crowds were so quiet that some of the few in attendance, watching on television, or listening on radio could hear all of the action on the field, including play calling, collisions, and the players talking to one another. In addition, the Oilers' radio network in Texas, formerly statewide, was reduced to a single station in Houston and a few affiliates in Tennessee. Adams, the city, the county and the NFL were unwilling to let this continue for another season. As a result, Harris County agreed to let the Oilers out of their lease to enable the move to Tennessee a year earlier than planned.
  • 1993
    Age 70
    After Adams made good on a threat to hold a fire sale if the Oilers did not make the Super Bowl after the 1993 season, the Oilers finished with the worst record in franchise history a year later.
    More Details Hide Details They would be barely competitive for the rest of their stay in Houston. By the mid-1990s, several NFL teams had new stadiums built largely or entirely with public funding, and several more deals had been agreed to. These new venues featured amenities such as "club seating" and other potential revenue streams that were not part of the NFL's default revenue-sharing arrangements. Due to this, Adams began to lobby Mayor Bob Lanier for a new stadium. However, Lanier turned down the request almost out of hand. Lanier knew that Houstonians were not willing to spend money for a brand-new stadium less than a decade after helping pay for heavily renovating the Astrodome. Adams then began to shop the team to other cities. He had taken particular notice of the offer made by Nashville to the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League to become the primary tenant of a new arena then under construction in downtown Nashville—what is now Bridgestone Arena. While this deal was never consummated (Nashville eventually received an expansion team, the Nashville Predators), Adams wondered what sort of offer he might receive for a venue for his NFL team.
  • 1987
    Age 64
    In 1987, Adams threatened to move the Oilers to Jacksonville, Florida (now the home to the Jaguars) unless significant improvements were made to the Astrodome.
    More Details Hide Details Harris County, which owns the Astrodome, responded with a $67 million renovation that added 10,000 more seats, a new Astroturf carpet and 65 luxury boxes. Adams promised that with the new improvements, he would keep the team in Houston for 10 years. These improvements were funded by increases in property taxes and the doubling of the hotel tax, as well as bonds to be paid over 30 years. (As of 2011, Harris County and its taxpayers are still paying off the debt from the Astrodome renovations.) That same year, the Oilers seemed to right themselves on the field. They made the AFC playoffs every year from then until 1993, but each time they fell short of making it to the Super Bowl.
  • FORTIES
  • 1968
    Age 45
    In 1968 Adams moved his team into the Astrodome, which since 1965 had been the home of the Houston Astros of baseball's National League.
    More Details Hide Details While the Astrodome ameliorated the hot, humid climate, it had several drawbacks as a venue for the Oilers. Despite being almost completely round, the Astrodome's football sight lines left much to be desired. The seats near the 50-yard line, usually the most desirable (and expensive), were the farthest from the field of play, while those nearest the action were otherwise-undesirable seats in the end zone. Additionally, the Astrodome seated only about 50,000 for football, just barely over the minimum seating capacity for an NFL stadium. By the early 1980s, it was the smallest venue in the NFL. Adams chafed at being the Astrodome's "secondary" tenant. He knew his position was unlikely to change as long as the Astros were playing 81 home games and his team was playing eight. Adams was initially hailed as a hero in Houston for making the city a major-league town, but his popularity tailed off during the Oilers' early NFL years. Some critics believed he had mishandled the team. His tendency to micromanage the Oilers brought considerable scrutiny since he had no background in the sport. For instance, all expenditures over $200 required his personal approval.
  • 1966
    Age 43
    Adams and the other AFL owners received a tremendous boost in credibility and net worth in 1966 with the merger of the AFL with and into the NFL.
    More Details Hide Details It was effective with the 1970 season.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1959
    Age 36
    Adams soon became interested in owning an NFL team. In 1959, Adams and fellow Texas oilman Lamar Hunt tried to buy the struggling Chicago Cardinals and move them to Texas.
    More Details Hide Details When that effort failed, he tried to get an expansion team, only to be turned down. A few days after returning to Houston, Adams got a call from Hunt proposing an entirely new football league. They met several times that spring, and Hunt convinced Adams to field a team in Houston. In Hunt's view, a regional rivalry between Hunt's Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs) and a Houston team would be critical to the league's growth. On August 3, Adams and Hunt held a press conference in Adams's boardroom to announce formation of the new league, which was formally named the American Football League. Although less popularly associated with the formation of the AFL than Hunt, Adams was likely nearly as crucial to the league's success. Both he and Hunt were more financially stable than some of the other early owners.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1949
    Age 26
    Adams's uncle William Wayne Keeler, CEO of Phillips Petroleum Company for years, was appointed chief of the Cherokee Nation by President Harry S. Truman in 1949 and served through 1971, when the Cherokee were able to hold their own elections. Keeler was democratically elected and served until 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Adams's ancestors include other prominent Cherokee leaders.
  • 1946
    Age 23
    Shortly after his 1946 discharge, Adams was on a trip in which his plane was fogbound in Houston, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details He liked the area and decided to settle there. Soon afterward, Adams launched a wildcatting firm, ADA Oil Company, that eventually grew into Adams Resources & Energy. The company's basketball team was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) powerhouse, finishing third nationally in 1956.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1940
    Age 17
    Adams graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1940 after lettering in three sports.
    More Details Hide Details After a brief stint at Menlo College, he transferred to the University of Kansas (KU), where he played briefly on the varsity football team as he completed an engineering degree. During World War II, Adams served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater of operations, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. After the war, he returned to KU for additional studies and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
  • 1939
    Age 16
    Adams's father succeeded the founder Frank Phillips as president of Phillips Petroleum Company in 1939.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1923
    Age 0
    Born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on January 3, 1923, Adams was the son of K. S. "Boots" Adams and Blanch Keeler Adams.
    More Details Hide Details He became an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation by virtue of his maternal line. Two of his great-grandmothers were Cherokee women who married European-American men: Nelson Carr and George B. Keeler, who played roles in trade and oil in early Oklahoma. Keeler drilled the first commercial oil well, near the Caney River.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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