NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tommy Smith is retiring as president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Titans, saying that dividing his time between the NFL team his late father-in-law founded and the other business left by Bud Adams was not good for either company.
Smith said in a statement released Friday that he cannot serve two big roles as effectively as he had hoped. He cites family, personal health and trying to make good decisions for two companies as reasons for his decision.
''We have made some moves within the Titans organization, both on and off the field, that I believe will bring some very positive immediate results,'' Smith said. ''There is a side of me that wishes I could continue to be heavily involved, but I will remain an avid Titans fan while leaving those decisions in the hands of professionals who are fully focused. My family and Adams Resources will get my full-time attention.''
Steve Underwood, who retired from the franchise in 2011, is rejoining the Titans as interim president while the team searches for a new president and CEO. Underwood spent six seasons as senior executive vice president running day-to-day operations in Nashville and also had been the team's general counsel.
''I am honored to return to Nashville to help the organization during this search period,'' Underwood said in a statement. ''I have a great deal of respect for the family and look forward to aiding the team during this time.''
The new president and CEO will be located in Nashville.
The Titans, who went 2-14 in 2014, have not made the playoffs since 2008 and have struggled to get fans buying up all their tickets to actually attend games the past couple seasons. Tennessee holds the No. 2 pick overall in the upcoming draft.
Smith, married to Susie Adams Smith, spent 35 years working with the then-Houston Oilers helping oversee the team's relocation to Tennessee in 1997. He took over as team president and CEO after Adams died in October 2013.
He made a coaching change in January 2014 replacing Mike Munchak with Ken Whisenhunt. The Titans also have revamped the business side of their front office in recent weeks with Don MacLachlan resigning last month as executive vice president in charge of administration and facilities after 24 seasons with the franchise. They announced several new employees Wednesday.
But Smith also is president and chairman of Adams Resources and Energy, Inc. - a Houston-based oil, gas and chemical company with annual revenues of $4 billion a year and 870 employees.
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