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Titans, Fisher Part Ways, Ending NFL’s Longest Coaching Tenure

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Jeff Fisher has left the Tennessee Titans after 16 seasons, ending the longest tenure of any current head coach in the National Football League.

Fisher’s exit follows a coaching review after a 6-10 season and comes less than three weeks after Titans owner Bud Adams said the 52-year-old coach, who has a 142-120 record with the franchise, would return to Tennessee for a 17th season.

“Since that time, it became evident that consensus was increasingly hard to find and reality wasn’t matching the vision we discussed,” Adams said in an e-mailed statement last night. “We’ve reached the point where change is in the best interest of both parties.”

Fisher leaves a week after defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil, defensive line coach Jim Washburn and running backs coach Craig Johnson departed the Titans. Mike Munchak, the Titans’ offensive line coach, is a leading candidate to succeed Fisher, the Associated Press said.

“We’re confident the coaching pool still has a number of quality candidates,” Adams said. “We expect to talk to a broad and diverse group of candidates.”

Fisher spent three years as coach of the Houston Oilers beginning in 1994 before moving with the team to Tennessee in 1997. He began his NFL coaching career as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986.

Fisher led the Titans to the Super Bowl after the 1999 season, where Tennessee lost 23-16 to the St. Louis Rams. The Titans haven’t won a playoff game since the 2003 season and last made the postseason in 2008.

‘Very Proud’

“It’s been a tremendous experience,” Fisher said in the team’s statement. “We all did our very best and I think I can look back with fond memories and be very proud of what we accomplished.”

The coach was involved in a public confrontation with quarterback Vince Young this season, resulting in Young losing his starting spot. Adams said this month that Young would not be returning in 2011 to the Titans.

Fisher’s 142 wins place him third among active NFL coaches behind Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, with 176 wins, and Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, with 160.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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