Jeff Fisher is in his seventh season as head coach of the Titans, and his second season as Executive Vice President. He is only the fifth coach in NFL history to lead his team to thirteen consecutive winning seasons.
Last season, Jeff Fisher also became the franchise's winningest coach with 61 victories, surpassing Bum Phillips who accounted for 59 wins in his six seasons with the then-Houston Oilers. Lastly, Fisher became the fourth youngest NFL coach (since 1960) to reach the 50 regular season win plateau at the age of 42. Only Don Shula (37), John Madden (38) and Bill Cowher (39) have reached the 50-win mark at a younger age.
Building on the success the Titans had during the 1999 season would be tough to accomplish, but Jeff Fisher followed the team's first AFC championship in 1999 with an AFC Central crown and the league's best record in 2000. It was the first time in franchise history that the Titans/Oilers have owned the NFL's best record (13-3) and only the third time the club has won the AFC Central.
Fisher's teams have always been known for their toughness, physical play and aggressive defense. The defense reached a new level of success in 2000, earning the number one ranking in the NFL for yards allowed and surrendering the third lowest point total in the league since 1977. Fisher's teams are also mentally strong, flourishing on the road where many teams will wilt. Since 1995, the Titans/Oilers have amassed the best road record in the NFL with a 28-20 mark during that time. Additionally, in each of the last two seasons, the Titans have defeated all of the Super Bowl representatives during the regular season, beating the St. Louis Rams in 1999 and both the Baltimore Ravens and N.Y. Giants in 2000.
Jeff Fisher, the Titans and Middle Tennesseans will fondly remember the accomplishments of the 1999 season, which brought the team its first AFC Championship and appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV. Fisher and the Titans defeated AFC Central champion Jacksonville three times in 1999, handing the Jaguars their only losses. As a Wild Card team, the Titans had the most difficult route to the Super Bowl. Fisher earned his first postseason victory by defeating Buffalo 22-16, and erased a 16-0 deficit in one of the biggest displays of heart in any second half of Super Bowl history against the Rams. The Titans became only the sixth team to earn a trip to the Super Bowl since the NFL added the Wild Card playoff team in 1978. Fisher guided the Titans to a streak of 13 consecutive wins against AFC Central Division opponents dating back to 1998. It marked the longest streak in the history of the division and the third longest in the NFL since the 1970 merger. In December of 1999, he was appointed by to the NFL Competition Committee by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The committee oversees all aspects of the game on the field and recommends rules and policy changes to NFL clubs.
Jeff Fisher originally joined the Oilers' coaching staff on February 9, 1994 after spending two seasons as the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Fisher was a perfect fit for the Oilers, who were looking for a young, aggressive coach with experience in the "46" defense. Fisher had worked with the "46" for many years with former Oilers Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan. Fisher took over a defense that achieved dominant status in 1993, but had lost several key components to free agency. He was elevated to head coach on November 14, 1994, replacing Jack Pardee, for the final six games of the season.
A former defensive back in college at the University of Southern California, Jeff Fisher played for John Robinson in a star-studded defensive backfield that included future NFL stars Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith and Joey Browner. Current Titans offensive lineman Bruce Matthews also was one of Fisher's USC teammates. Fisher's career statistics included five interceptions and 108 tackles. The versatile Fisher also served as the Trojans' backup kicker and earned PAC-10 All-Academic honors in 1980.
Originally a seventh-round draft selection of the Chicago Bears in 1981, Fisher appeared in 49 games as a defensive back and return specialist in five seasons. He earned a Super Bowl ring after Chicago's 1985 Super Bowl season, despite spending the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury that prematurely ended his playing career. During that season, Fisher began his post-playing career by assisting Ryan as an "unofficial" coach while the Bears ultimately defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. He left Chicago in 1985 holding a number of team records including: number of punt return yards for a season with 509 yards in 1981, number of punt returns in a season with 58 in 1984, and number of punt returns in one game with eight on December 16, 1984, at Detroit. He also recorded the longest punt return by a Bear in 39 years with an 88-yard return for a TD on September 20, 1981 against Tampa Bay.
Fisher began his coaching career as an assistant for Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986, tutoring the defensive backs for three seasons before becoming the NFL's youngest defensive coordinator in 1988. One year later, under Fisher's tutelage, the Eagles' defense led the NFL in interceptions (30) and quarterback sacks (62). In 1990, Philadelphia's defense paced the league in rushing defense and ranked second in QB sacks.
In 1991, Jeff Fisher headed west to be reunited with his college coach Robinson, serving as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator before joining the 49ers one year later.