Former Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese, architect of Super Bowl team, dies at 73

Floyd Reese, the former Tennessee Titans general manager and one of the most influential figures in franchise history, has died, the team announced. Reese was 73.

Reese had been in hospice care, according to longtime Nashville radio talk show host George Plaster, who brought on Reese as a co-host on Sports Night in 2016 on The Game 102.5-FM. Reese remained with the station until December.

Floyd was a lot of fun to work with, Plaster said in a statement to The Tennessean. He just brought unique perspectives to the sports talk radio world that none of us could have ever brought because he’d been in those wars. He knew what negotiating player contracts was all about and when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. We can talk about all that stuff all we want, but he had lived it.

Former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, left, and former GM Floyd Reese, right, talk with owner Bud Adams, center, during an NFL football practice. The Titans announced July 14, 2021, that Fisher, Reese, and former Houston Oiler head coach Bum Phillips will be the newest members of the Tennessee Titans’ ring of honor. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
The Titans went to Super Bowl XXXIV, advanced to two AFC Championship games and complied 111 wins with Reese as general manager from 1994-2006. He was a coach and executive for the Oilers/Titans for 21 years, beginning in 1986.

Reese hired Jeff Fisher, the winningest coach in franchise history, and acquired some of the most beloved players in team history, including quarterback Steve McNair, running back Eddie George, defensive end Jevon Kearse, wide receiver Derrick Mason and tight end Frank Wycheck.

The Titans announced in July that Reese, along with Fisher and former Oilers coach O.A Bum Phillips, will be inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor during the 2021 season.

This is a sad day for our Titans family, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. I would like to send along my deepest condolences to Floyd’s wife, Sally, to his children, grandchildren and extended family. Floyd spent over two decades with our franchise in a variety of roles – position coach, assistant general manager and ultimately, general manager – and he excelled at all of them.

As a general manager, he built a team that saw sustained success and helped guide our franchise in the toughest times and the highest moments. His keen eye for talent led him to some of the best players in our team’s history, which led the team to some of our greatest accomplishments.

We look forward to remembering and honoring his legacy this season as he is formally inducted into our Ring of Honor.

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Titans general manager Jon Robinson also expressed his condolences to the Reese family.

I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Floyd Reese and my heartfelt condolences go out to Ms. Sally, the family, and all that were close to him, Robinson said. He was a great man. he loved his family, he loved football, and he loved the Titans. I learned a lot from him, he was always willing to listen, and he wanted to pass on his knowledge of the game to me and so many others. I’m forever grateful that I could call him a friend.

Thank you for everything Floyd, I’ll see you again someday!

After Plaster left The Game 102.5-FM, Reese teamed up with Jared Stillman on the station for the Jared and The GM show, which lasted nearly five years.

Words cannot express the pain I feel today knowing that (Reese) is no longer with us, Stillman said in a text to The Tennessean.

Football was his life, but his true occupation was making other people better. He being our GM made our city better. He being a coach made his players better. And he being my co-host influenced me to be a better person. Our friendship and partnership was the definition of unique but also the most rewarding of my life. I never took what we had for granted and I never took him as a friend, partner or co-host for granted either. I am keeping his wife Sally, sons Jeremy and Sean, daughter-in-law Katie and grandchildren: Trace, Ryan, Caleb and Mary Kate all in my thoughts and my heart. Rest easy, GM. I loved him dearly.

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