Strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson, the Tennessee Titans longest-tenured coach, is retiring a source confirmed to TitanInsider.com.
Watterson, who has been with the organization since it was known as the Houston Oilers, has been with the organization since 1986 and moved with the team to Tennessee in 1997.
On the heels of the news of Watterson’s retirement, the Titans announced that assistant strength coach Tom Kanavy will take over as the Titans’ strength coach.
“I never spent much time thinking about this moment, but as I was preparing for another offseason to begin, it became clear to me that it was time for me to step down and retire,” Watterson said in a statement. “I have invested a lifetime in this franchise and have so much love and respect for the people who work here and I only want the best for them. There are so many fantastic memories that I was lucky enough to be a part of during my time here; and I loved getting to work with world-class athletes for more than three decades.
“Seeing guys improve on a daily and yearly basis was a constant reward. I want to thank Amy and her family for the opportunity to work for this franchise as long as I have and I will be watching with great interest every Sunday. I see great things ahead for this team and I have a ton of confidence in Tom (Kanavy) and Taylor (Porter) as they take the reins.”
Watterson earlier this off-season had agreed to come back to the coaching staff and work under new head coach Mike Vrabel. His status was somewhat unclear in the early aftermath of Mike Mularkey’s departure as head coach.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson thanked Watterson for his long tenure of service to the organization and spoke of Kanavy stepping into the strength and conditioning role.
“I would like to thank Steve for all he has done for this team and this community. I have the utmost respect for him and the career he has had. We wish he and his family the best. As we move forward, Tom will take over as Strength and Conditioning coach and Taylor (Porter) also will remain on the staff,” Robinson said.
Watterson, known for his practical jokes, came to the organization after serving in a similar capacity with the Philadelphia Eagles, and survived not only a franchise move, but the regimes of six different head coaches before Vrabel. He was first hired by Jerry Glanville 31 years ago.
One of his more infamous moments came when he was shown on video tossing a cup of liquid, later said to be chicken broth, on Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter when Porter came over to the Titans sideline during the course of making a play.