Adams Not Included in Hall of Fame's Centennial Class

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – Bud Adams’ best chance to date for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame passed Wednesday with left the Tennessee Titans’ founder still on the outside.

Adams was not among the three contributors in the Centennial Class, a special 15-person group that will be added this year as part of the NFL’s 100-year anniversary.

The class consists of 10 players, three contributors and two coaches. The coaches, Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson, were revealed over the weekend. The remaining 13 inductees were announced Wednesday morning.

Adams was one of 10 finalists in the contributor category but lost out to NFL Films executive Steve Sabol and George Young, a personnel executive with three different franchises, and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

"I congratulate all three gentlemen -- all the 15, for that matter -- on getting into the Centennial Class," Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, one of Adams' daughters, said in a video interview on the team's website. "Yes, I'm disappointed, but those three gentlemen were very deserving, and we'll keep fighting for my dad. I truly believe he needs to get in at some point, and I truly believe he will."

Adams founded the franchise in 1960 as the Houston Oilers, one of the original American Football League franchises. He scored an early victory against the National Football League when he signed 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, who helped the Oilers to the first two AFL championships.

He owned and remained in charge of the team until his death in October 2013. Amy Adams Strunk, has served as controlling owner since March 2015.

"Maybe, a lot of people had forgotten the accomplishments of my dad, who for 53 years owned a pro football team," Adams Strunk said. "Now it kind of refreshed the memories and hopefully, as time goes on, he'll have another chance at it."