Jeff Fisher is now officially a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
The former Tennessee Titans coach was formally enshrined Saturday along with 10 others in a first-of-its-kind ceremony that did not bring together the honorees. Instead, it relied on technology to tell their stories and highlight how they earned their place alongside the biggest names in the state’s sports history.
The induction ceremony typically takes place at the end of July as a banquet. This year it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ultimately the decision was made to stage it as a two-hour television station that was broadcast throughout the state and included remarks from the inductees as well as others who spoke to their greatness. Titans play-by-play announcer Mike Keith hosted the show.
As part of the proceedings, running back Derrick Henry was recognized as the Hall of Fame’s Pro Athlete of the Year, and the Titans were the Pro Team of the Year for what they accomplished in 2019.
“It’s an honor,” Fisher said. “I can’t wait to live it in person once things settle down. Truly, I’m honored and humbled. Thank you once again.”
He was surprised back in February with the news of his selection.
Fisher is the winningest coach in franchise history with a 147-126 record. All but 21 of those victories came in Tennessee, when he spent two years as coach of the Tennessee Oilers (1997-98) and 11 more as coach of the Tennessee Titans after the franchise was rebranded (1999-2010).
During that time, he also served as the team’s primary spokesman and helped create a fan base that spanned the state. He led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999 and six playoff appearances over a 10-year period that ended in 2008, when Tennessee finished the regular season with an NFL-best 13-3 record after having started 10-0.
“We were off and running,” Fisher said of that 2008 campaign. “And we kept going and going. You look back and you go, ‘You know, it was a great start. People forget about that. It’s hard to win two in a row in the league, let alone 10. … We just stayed focused and got in the playoffs, and then things fell short for us.”
Fisher also spent four-plus seasons in charge of the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and is 12th in NFL history with 173 wins, one more than Hall of Famer Bill Parcells. With 165 losses, he is tied with Dan Reeves for the most by any NFL coach.
“Coach Fisher’s strengths as a leader is one who listens, and he adapts,” former Titans running back Eddie George said during the broadcast. “… One of the best coaches that I ever played for.”
Fisher was one of 11 members of the TSHOF Class of 2020. The other inductees were: Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin, multi-time Stanley Cup champion and Nashville Predators broadcaster Terry Crisp, Kentucky basketball guard Tony Delk, women’s athletics pioneer Bettye Giles, long-time golf administrator Dick Horton, University of Tennessee quarterback Heath Shuler, motorsports executive Bruton Smith, college basketball coach Sonny Smith, college football coach Carl Torbush and Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams.