Nashville, TN, United States (4E Sports) – The Tennessee Titans announced the death of their owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr., who passed away of natural causes at the age of 90 in his Houston home.
In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the league’s deepest sympathy to the family of Adams, the longest tenured owner in the NFL.
“Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator,” Goodell said in a statement. “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 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 standard for the NFL,” Goodell added.
Fifty-four years ago, Adams and Lamar Hunt announced the formation of the new American Football League. Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson now is the last remaining owner/founder of that group, having been with the Bills since their inception in 1960.
Adams presided over more wins with his organization (409) than any current NFL owner. Most of those wins came in Houston, where Adams’ Oilers won the first two AFL titles in 1960 and 1961 before losing the 1962 title to Hunt’s Dallas Texans team. Adams’ teams made the playoffs 21 times.
Adams’ Oilers were the first football team to play its home games at an indoor stadium, the Houston Astrodome. The Oilers played there until 1997, when Adams moved the organization to Tennessee, ending a contentious relationship with the city.
Former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips, who Adams fired in 1980 amid great controversy, also passed away Friday at the age of 90.
The last game Adams was able to attend was Tennessee’s Week 2 overtime loss to the Texans in Houston.
Adams and his wife, Nancy, were married for 62 years before her passing in February of 2009. He is survived by two daughters, Susie Smith and Amy Strunk. Adams’ only son, Kenneth S. Adams III, is deceased.