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Longtime Oilers/Titans Owner Bud Adams Named a Semifinalist in the Coach/Contributor Category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024


NASHVILLE – Long-time Oilers/Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. and former Oilers receiver/return man Billy "White Shoes" Johnson have moved to the semifinalist round for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024.

Long-time Titans scout C.O. Brocato, who worked 40 years with the Oilers/Titans organization, also made the list of those advancing for consideration.

On Wednesday, it was announced the Hall's 12-person Coach/Contributor Committee reduced the list of nominated candidates to 29 semifinalists who advance to the next round of consideration.

Adams and Brocato were on the list, along with Roone Arledge, Tom Coughlin, Alex Gibbs, Ralph Hay, Mike Holmgren, Frank "Bucko" Kilroy, Eddie Kotal, Robert Kraft, Elmer Layden, Jerry Markbreit, Virginia McCaskey, Rich McKay, John McVay, Art Modell, Buddy Parker, Carl Peterson, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Marty Schottenheimer, Jerry Seeman, George Seifert, Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy, Seymour Siwoff, Jim Tunney, Lloyd Wells and John Wooten.

Adams and Lamar Hunt co-founded the AFL to rival the NFL, before the two leagues eventually merged. In fact, the formation of the AFL was announced in Adams' Houston office in 1959.

Hunt, long-time owner of the Chiefs who started an AFL team in Dallas, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. Another one of the members of the self-appointed "Foolish Club," Bills owner Ralph Wilson, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

In addition to his role in forming the AFL, Adams convinced Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon to play in the AFL, and his aggressive spending helped give the upstart league instant credibility.

In 2008, Adams received the inaugural Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, which recognized his vision and his role in helping the NFL reach preeminent status.

Adams was the founder and owner of the Oilers/Titans for 53-plus years (1960-2012).

Over the years his team produced 21 playoff seasons, two AFL Championships (1960 & 61), an AFC Championship win (1999), four AFC Championship Game Appearances, and a Super Bowl appearance (XXXIV). The 21 playoff appearances between 1960-2012 ranked eighth among NFL teams during that period.

The organization has produced 17 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In an interview with The Tennessean in 2013, the Titans owner wondered if he'd ever join football's hallowed halls. Adams passed away later that same year.

"Besides the playoffs, one thing I would like to accomplish is to be considered in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,'' Adams said. "I realize there may be some hard feelings about me moving the team to Nashville, but I truly feel my body of work…

"I don't like tooting my own horn. But at my age, and now being the senior NFL owner, there is no one from back in those days than can really speak up for me now."

The Hall's 12-person Seniors Committee trimmed a list of eligible nominees to 31 semifinalists who advance to the next round of consideration, and Johnson made that list along with Ken Anderson, Ottis Anderson, Carl Banks, Maxie Baughan, Larry Brown, Mark Clayton, Charlie Conerly, Roger Craig, Henry Ellard, Randy Gradishar, Lester Hayes, Chris Hinton, Cecil Isbell, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Bob Kuechenberg, George Kunz, Albert Lewis, Jim Marshall, Clay Matthews Jr., Steve McMichael, Eddie Meador, Stanley Morgan, Tommy Nobis, Art Powell, Sterling Sharpe, Steve Tasker, Otis Taylor, Everson Walls and Al Wistert.

Each semifinalist played his last game in professional football no later than the 1998 season.

During his 14-year NFL career with the Houston Oilers (1974-1980), Atlanta Falcons (1982-87), Washington (1988), Johnson accumulated three Pro Bowl selections and is most famously known for his endzone celebrations. Scored six times on punt returns and twice on kickoff returns.

Each semifinalist played his last game in professional football no later than the 1998 season.

Selection bylaws stipulate that both the Seniors Committee and Coach/Contributor Committee vote for 25 Semifinalists but also allows for additional candidates to proceed in the process in the case of a tie vote for the 25th position. That occurred in both fields this year.

The respective selection committees now will consider the candidates and vote to send 12 Seniors and 12 Coach/Contributors through to the next stage. The results of those reduction votes will be announced July 27.

Coach/Contributor Committee members will meet Aug. 15 to select one Coach or Contributor for final consideration for the Class of 2024.

The Seniors Committee will meet Aug. 22 and may select up to three Seniors for final consideration as members of the Class of 2024. Expansion of the Seniors pool for election to the Hall was approved in 2022 for the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.

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