Bud AdamsNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bud Adams, the founder of the Houston Oilers who teamed up with Lamar Hunt to create the AFL, is one of 29 semifinalists in the coach/contributor category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Adams, who moved his team to Nashville in 1997 where they ultimately became the Tennessee Titans, died on Oct. 21, 2013.

He wasn't only a founder of the AFL, he helped it flourish and was instrumental in promoting the merger with the NFL which created the league as we know it today.

The team is now run by his daughter, Amy Adams Strunk.

Another member of the franchise is also among the 29 semifinalists. The cutdown is meant to get to 25, but allows for more due to ties.

C.O. Brocato, an innovator who scouted for the franchise for 45 years, invented the three-cone drill, which measures players’ speed, agility and change of direction.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, who played the first seven of his 14 years with the Houston Oilers is one of the 25 semifinalists for one of three senior candidate spots.

A committee of 12 will cut the list from 29 to 12 in a vote that will be announced on July 27. (I am a first-year member of the coach/contributor committee.) Then an Aug. 23 meeting will determine the one candidate who will be brought forward to the full 49-member selection committee in January. 

That candidate will need 80 percent approval of the full committee to become a member of the Hall.

In the current three-year cycle, three senior candidates and one coach/contributor can be elected to the Hall along with five modern-era players. Previously there had been more room for coaches and contributors and less for seniors.

Adams was one of 10 contributor finalists for the Centennial Class of 2020 but lost out to Steve Sabol of NFL Films, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and former Dolphins, Colts, Giants and NFL executive George Young.

The Titans draft room is named after Brocato, who's been on a preliminary list for the Hall three times in the past.

The other coach/ contributor finalists: Roone Arledge, Don Coryell, Otho Davis, Ralph Hay, Mike Holmgren, Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Eddie Kotal, Robert Kraft, Rich McKay, John McVay, Art Modell, Clint Murchison Jr., Buddy Parker, Carl Peterson, Dan Reeves, Lee Remmel, Art Rooney Jr., Marty Schottenheimer, Jerry Seeman, Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy, Seymour Siwoff, Amy Trask, Jim Tunney, Jack Vainisi, Lloyd Wells and John Wooten.

The other seniors: Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Mark Clayton, Roger Craig, LaVern Dilweg, Randy Gradishar, Lester Hayes, Chris Hinton, Chuck Howley, Cecil Isbell, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Joe Klecko, Bob Kuechenberg, George Kunz, Jim Marshall, Clay Matthews Jr., Eddie Meador, Stanley Morgan, Tommy Nobis, Ken Riley, Sterling Sharpe, Otis Taylor and Everson Walls.

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