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Titans hire Vrabel as new coach after quick search.

Byline: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey.

The Titans announced Saturday they have agreed to terms with Vrabel. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.

Vrabel was the first person Tennessee interviewed after firing Mularkey on Monday. Mularkey, who also coached Buffalo and Jacksonville, went 21-22 and led the franchise to its first playoff victory in 14 years.

This will be Vrabel's first head coaching job after 18 years in the NFL -- 14 as a player and four as a coach.

Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement it was easy to see Vrabel's commanding presence and relationship with general manager Jon Robinson. The GM got his start in the NFL as a scout with the New England Patriots, where Vrabel won three Super Bowls as a linebacker.

"Mike has a commanding presence and a deep understanding for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity," Strunk said.

"Throughout his football career, he has played for, been mentored by and coached with successful teams and organizations. He knows what it takes to reach that level of sustained success -- he has seen it firsthand. We have a chance to build on the solid foundation that we established over the past couple of years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress."

The Titans became the seventh NFL team to change coaches since the start of the season, and now they are the third to hire their replacement, joining Oakland and the Bears. The Indianapolis Colts are closing in on Josh McDaniels but can't hire him until the Patriots' season ends. Arizona, Detroit and New York Giants have yet to hire new coaches.

Record for Salaam's Heisman:

Rashaan Salaam's Heisman Trophy fetched $399,608 at auction, a record price for the award on Saturday night.

The online auction, done by SCP Auctions of California, raised funds for CTE-related medical research in memory of Salaam. The former University of Colorado running back was 42 when he was found dead in a park in Boulder. His death was ruled a suicide.

The previous record for a Heisman sold at auction was $395,240 for Bruce P. Smith's 1941 trophy. Other Heisman trophies sold at auction include O.J. Simpson's 1968 award ($255,000 in 1999); Charles White's 1979 award ($184,000 in 2000); and Paul Hornung's 1956 award ($250,000 in 2000).

Salaam won his in 1994, months before he was picked in the first round of the NFL draft by the Bears.

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Title Annotation:Sports_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U6TN
Date:Jan 21, 2018
Words:444
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