The St. Louis Rams announced Jeff Fisher as the club’s head coach. Fisher enters his 31st NFL season and becomes the 26th full-time head coach in Rams history. He returns to coaching after a one-year break after following a 16-season stint as the head coach of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
“I deeply appreciate the opportunity that Stan Kroenke has afforded me and I’m privileged to be the new Head Coach of the St. Louis Rams,” Fisher said. “Our commitment is to build a disciplined, competitive football team as soon as possible, with the goal of bringing another championship to St. Louis.”
Fisher joined the Houston/Tennessee franchise as defensive coordinator in 1994 and was promoted to interim head coach that season. He was given the job permanently in 1995 and remained the franchise’s head coach through 2010.
Fisher’s record is 142-120 (.542) in the regular season. He’s tied with Tom Coughlin for 19th in NFL history in regular season victories, and among active head coaches, Fisher and Coughlin are tied for third in wins, trailing only Bill Belichick (175) and Mike Shanahan (157). Fisher also boasts a 5-6 postseason record and led Tennessee to the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance, one that saw the Titans fall to the Rams in a tightly-contested battle following the 1999 season.
Fisher guided Tennessee to six playoff appearances (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008) from 1999 through 2009. Only three teams (Indianapolis, New England and Phila¬delphia) in that time period had more postseason appearances than the Titans (tied with six other teams). Fisher’s playoff accomplishments include three Division titles (2000, 2002 and 2008), two AFC Championship Games (1999, 2002) and one Super Bowl berth (XXXIV).
Fisher believes in the philosophy that a strong running game helps control the clock and keeps your defense fresh. In 12 of the last 14 seasons, the Titans have finished in the top half of the NFL in rushing offense including seven top 10 finishes. Additionally, in 12 of the last 15 seasons, the Titans have finished with an average time of possession number of more than 31 minutes for the season.
Fisher said having a great owner and a potential star quarterback all led to his decision to join the Rams.
AUDIO Jeff Fisher’s press conference (15:00)
Fisher originally joined the Oilers’ coaching staff on Feb. 9, 1994, after spending two seasons as the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He was elevated to head coach on Nov. 14, 1994, replacing Jack Pardee, for the final six games of the season.
Fisher officially began his coaching career as an assistant for Buddy Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986, tutoring the defensive backs for three seasons before becoming the NFL’s youngest defensive coordinator in 1988. One year later, under Fisher’s tutelage, the Eagles’ defense led the NFL in interceptions (30) and quarterback sacks (62). In 1990, Philadelphia’s defense paced the league in rushing defense and ranked second in quarterback sacks. In 1991, Fisher headed west to be reunited with his college coach John Robinson, serving as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator before joining the 49ers one year later.
A former defensive back at the University of Southern California, Fisher played for Robinson in a star-studded defensive backfield that included future NFL stars Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith and Joey Browner. Fisher’s career college statistics included five interceptions and 108 tackles. The versatile Fisher also served as the Trojans’ backup kicker and earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors in 1980.
Originally a seventh-round draft selection of the Chicago Bears in 1981, Fisher appeared in 49 games as a defensive back and return specialist in five NFL seasons. He earned a Super Bowl ring after Chicago’s 1985 Super Bowl season, despite spending the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury that prematurely ended his playing career. During that season, Fisher began his post-playing career by assisting Ryan as an “unofficial” coach while the Bears ultimately defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.