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Mike Munchak
Head Coach

Biography

Mike Munchak became the 16th head coach in franchise history and the first who was a former player for the team, when he was named to the post on Feb. 7, 2011.

In his first two seasons, he posted the third most wins (15) by a coach in his first full two seasons with the club.

Last year, the Titans fielded their youngest team in seven years and then dealt with an unprecedented number of injuries (most players on injured reserve in 20+ years with 16) as the team finished with a 6-10 record. Tennessee also played the third most difficult schedule in the AFC as they played seven games against teams that qualified for the postseason. Those obstacles aside, Munchak saw the young talent on the roster progress as WR Kendall Wright led NFL rookies in receptions, LB Zach Brown was the only NFL rookie to finish among the top five rookies in both interceptions and sacks, second-year LB Akeem Ayers led the team in tackles and posted six sacks, and QB Jake Locker completed his first year as a starter.

Mike Munchak became the 16th head coach in franchise history and the first who was a former player for the team, when he was named to the post on Feb. 7, 2011.

In his first two seasons, he posted the third most wins (15) by a coach in his first full two seasons with the club.

Last year, the Titans fielded their youngest team in seven years and then dealt with an unprecedented number of injuries (most players on injured reserve in 20+ years with 16) as the team finished with a 6-10 record. Tennessee also played the third most difficult schedule in the AFC as they played seven games against teams that qualified for the postseason. Those obstacles aside, Munchak saw the young talent on the roster progress as WR Kendall Wright led NFL rookies in receptions, LB Zach Brown was the only NFL rookie to finish among the top five rookies in both interceptions and sacks, second-year LB Akeem Ayers led the team in tackles and posted six sacks, and QB Jake Locker completed his first year as a starter.

In his first season at the helm, he led the team to their first winning season (9-7) since 2008, and was one of only two rookie head coaches (Jim Harbaugh) to post a winning mark in 2011. He did so through hard work and restoring a sense of professionalism into the team.

A true product of one organization, Munchak has spent the last 31 years with the franchise as a player and coach. After a 12-year playing career as a guard for the Houston Oilers, he spent three seasons assisting the coaching staff. Munchak became the offensive line coach in 1997 and held that position for 14 years (1997-2010). Four of his players totaled 10 Pro Bowl invitations and his offensive lines have paved the way for five different running backs to total an NFL-high 12 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 1997 - 2010.

In 2001, he became the fifth franchise player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He earned nine Pro Bowl invitations during his career and was bestowed the honor of having his Oilers number 63 jersey retired in 1996.

Munchak, as a coach, is acknowledged as one of the finest teachers in the game. Only twice during his role as offensive line coach did he have the benefit of starting the same starting five linemen from one year to the next; yet, the Titans offensive lines were perennially one of the best units in the NFL. His offensive lines allowed the second fewest sacks (28.3 sacks per season) in the NFL with him leading the group from 1997 - 2010.

Additionally, the Titans ranked seventh in the league in rushing yards (124.5 yards per game) during his tenure as offensive line coach and totaled seven NFL top 10 finishes in rushing yards (1997, ‘98, 2000, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09). The highlight for the group was a 2,000-yard rushing season in 2009 by Chris Johnson, who became just the sixth player in league history to reach that mark.

He has seen Bruce Matthews, Brad Hopkins, Michael Roos and Kevin Mawae earn Pro Bowl invitations from his group in addition to providing protection for Pro Bowlers Eddie George, Steve McNair, Vince Young, Kerry Collins and Chris Johnson. His group aided McNair to NFL co-MVP (2003) and Johnson to Offensive Player of the Year (2009) honors. In addition to working with the elite players, he has consistently taken young, mid-to-late round talent and molded them into long-time NFL starters, including David Stewart, Leroy Harris, Eugene Amano, Jacob Bell, Benji Olson, Justin Hartwig, Kevin Long and Jon Runyan. As evidence of the stellar line play, the Titans produced five different 1,000-yard rushers (George, Brown, T. Henry, White, Johnson) over his last eight seasons as offensive line coach. Currently, the Titans are the only team to produce 15 1,000-yard rushers since 1997.

As a player, Munchak started 156 regular season games (seventh in franchise history) and 10 playoff games for the Oilers between 1982 and 1993. Respected for his play, he was selected to the 1980’s NFL All-Decade Team. Chronic knee problems led him to retire while still at the top of his game. In his final year, he earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. A versatile player, he started his career in a run-first offense with Earl Campbell and transitioned to a pass blocker in the Run ‘N Shoot offense guided by Warren Moon.

PHILOSOPHY/BACKGROUND

As a coach, he is a throw-back to the coaches of the past who believe in the deep-rooted fundamentals of quality football teams – smart, physical, consistent, committed and passionate players. Those roots come from his up-bringing in the sport. A fullback and defensive lineman at Scranton (Pa.) Central High School, he transitioned to the offensive line upon his arrival at Penn State. Spending four years under the leadership of the late Joe Paterno, he saw first-hand how teams were built and the fundamentals that created those championship-contending teams. Incredibly, Munchak became the first of Paterno’s players to take the helm of an NFL team.

At Penn State, Munchak lettered in 1979 and 1981 as a guard, and he red-shirted during the 1980 season with a knee injury. He entered the draft with year of eligibility remaining, but degree in-hand; and he became the first offensive lineman selected with the eighth pick overall in the 1982 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.

Munchak joined the Oilers at a time of great transition as the “Luv Ya Blue” era had reached its peak and an aging team was being rebuilt through the draft and specifically through drafting high-caliber offensive linemen. Munchak was the first of three consecutive offensive linemen drafted in the first round by the Oilers (Bruce Matthews, 1983; Dean Steinkuhler, 1984), and as Earl Campbell finished his Oilers career, a line was being built to protect a yet-to-be-determined quarterback that became Warren Moon in 1984. As the team grew together around its young offensive line and quarterback, the foundation was laid for seven consecutive playoff appearances between 1987 and 1993 and a new style of football in the Run ‘N Shoot offense. During this time Munchak became a perennial Pro Bowl selection, earning nine trips to Hawaii (1984-85, ’87-93) and eventually being named to the 1980’s NFL All-Decade Team.

In 2001, he was presented at the Pro Football Hall of Fame by his great friend and former teammate Bruce Matthews, who became the first active player to present a player for induction. And when Matthews claimed his spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, Munchak returned the favor and presented his long-time friend for induction. Munchak was inducted into the Titans/Oilers Hall of Fame in 1999.

During his time as a player, the Oilers fielded six top 10 offenses, produced two of the franchises’ four 400-point seasons, had four 1,000-yard rushers, totaled a franchise record 6,222 total yards in 1990 and Warren Moon earned NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors (1990).

Upon the completion of his career, Munchak joined the front office in 1994 and assisted the coaching staff. He officially became a coach in 1995 as a quality control coach for the offense. Jeff Fisher promoted him to offensive line coach prior to the 1997 season. He remained in that role until becoming head coach in 2011.

Earning a business degree at Penn State, Munchak was known to his teammates as a smart businessman. He partnered with Bruce Matthews to secure the regional distribution rights to Snapple and owned a number of Gold Gyms in Texas.

Among his many honors, Munchak has been elected to the Pennsylvania, Texas and Polish-American Sports Halls of Fame. Additionally, he was honored as one of the 38 Sports Legends of Houston prior to Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Munchak is involved with several charity events, including annual golf tournaments in Scranton and Houston that date back to his time as a player. In 2012, he started the annual “Strikes to Stop Diabetes” – a charity bowling event – in Nashville. The cause is near to him as his wife and mother live with the condition.

Munchak is a native of Scranton, Pa., and is married to Marci. The couple has two grown daughters – Alexandria and Julie.

Mike Munchak Coaching Ledger:
2011-13: Head Coach, Tennessee Titans
1997-10: Offensive Line, Tennessee Titans
1994-96: Offensive Assistant/Quality Control, Houston Oilers

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