Webster out, Underwood in as Titans announce front office changes

Ruston Webster (L), Steve Underwood (C), Mike Mularkey (R) (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Titans announced several front office changes Monday.

Steve Underwood will serve as the team’s President and Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis after previously serving as the interim.

Underwood rejoined the Titans as interim president and CEO in March 2015 after retiring in 2011. He has spent 35 years with the organization.

Underwood called his new position the greatest “personal privilege” of his career.

It was also announced Monday that Executive Vice President and General Manager Ruston Webster’s contract won’t be renewed. He was named GM in January 2012.

Underwood said it was very difficult to part ways with Webster.

“I just thought it was important that he know and everyone else know how much I think of him and how much our organization thinks of him and how much we appreciate the contributions he made and that we wish for him and his family the best,” Underwood said.

The newly-appointed CEO indicated wins and losses ultimately led to Webster not being retained.

The team will begin interviewing candidates for the vacant positions of head coach and general manager this week. Both searches will be led by Underwood, and there are “internal candidates” for both as well.

In a news conference Monday afternoon, Underwood said the search for both jobs will take as long as it takes and that there is no deadline to fill the positions.

“We are in the search process for our head coaching and general manager positions. We share the fans’ frustration about the team’s recent performance, and we are committed to doing everything we can to return our team to a perennial postseason contender,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement released via Twitter.

Struck, Kenneth Adams and Vin Marino will all be a part of the interview process, Underwood said.

Underwood added that Strunk is very dedicated to the organization, attended all 20 games and is in direct communication with him every day.

He also said the team originally had 155 head coaching candidates, but that list has been narrowed to less than 10.

Interim head coach Mike Mularkey is among the candidates for the permanent head coaching position, and he will be interviewed as a part of the head coach search process.

Vice President of Football Administration Vin Marino will oversee the Titans’ football operations during the general manager search.

The list of GM finalists has been trimmed down to 14 finalists, Underwood said.

The Titans lost 30-24 to the Indianapolis Colts in their final game of the season Sunday giving them a 3-13 record and the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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