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AP photo by Al Wagner / Tennessee Titans fans crowd around former running back Eddie George as they celebrate the selection of Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown during the second round of the NFL draft on April 26, 2019, in downtown Nashville. Burke Nihill, a team executive who led the effort to bring the draft to town, has been promoted to Titans president and CEO, the team announced Friday.

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans have promoted Burke Nihill to team president and CEO to replace Steve Underwood, who is retiring from a full-time role.

Underwood, who joined the NFL franchise in 1991 when it was the Houston Oilers, will remain as a senior counselor for the team.

Nihill, in his fifth season with the Titans, was promoted in February to a senior vice president position that gave him control of stadium and facility operations. He held the additional title of chief legal officer.

Nihill led efforts to bring the 2019 NFL draft to Nashville, which was widely considered a huge success, and is overseeing the renovation and expansion of Saint Thomas Sports Park, home to the team's offices and practice facility.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement released by the team Friday that Underwood's long history with the team "places him among the titans of professional sports executives."

Underwood helped orchestrate the team's move from Houston in 1997. He acted as the principal negotiator with local governments in Houston, Memphis — where the team played for two years as the Tennessee Oilers while their stadium was built — and Nashville.

He retired in 2011 before rejoining the organization on an interim basis in 2015, and the interim tag was removed the following year.

Strunk said Underwood's "dedication to our franchise is unmatched," adding she is glad he will remain involved as a senior counselor. She also said Nihill "has become an invaluable resource" and was the obvious choice to replace Underwood.

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