The Tennessee Titans hired San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt to become their head coach, the Titans announced Monday.
The Chargers were eliminated by the Denver Broncos in Sunday's playoff game, giving Whisenhunt the opportunity to accept offers elsewhere.
The Detroit Lions were the other team reportedly interested in Whisenhunt, and they had planned to send their team plane to San Diego to talk to Whisenhunt further, according to an ESPN report. But Whisenhunt asked the Lions to delay that meeting until he was finished with his business with the Chargers.
However, when the season was concluded, Whisenhunt became more deeply involved with the Titans and eventually reached an agreement.
"This is a big day for this franchise," said Titans President/CEO Tommy Smith in a statement released by the team. "Ken is a well-respected coach in this league and I am looking forward to seeing his vision become reality for this team. He has a history of building successful offenses and took Arizona to a Super Bowl as a head coach. We all share a common goal for this team and that is to build a consistent winner. I want to thank Ruston for his hard work in the process and the quality candidates that he brought in for interviews."
Whisenhunt, 51, has 17 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including six years as a head coach with the Arizona Cardinals from 2007 through 2012. He led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season.
He helped resurrect the career of quarterback Kurt Warner in Arizona, and he played a major role in the strong bounce-back season quarterback Phillip Rivers had with the Chargers this year.
"I have a lot of respect for Ken as a coach and as an offensive mind," said Titans general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. "The traits that stand out to me when identifying him as our next coach - he is intelligent, has a track record with quality offenses and head coaching success. I really enjoyed our meeting on Friday night in San Diego and we share similar philosophies about the game. Additionally, we have several mutual colleagues that have spoken highly to me about Ken both as a coach and as a person. I am excited about Ken joining us and the future of the Titans."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun