"It is for real," Pees said of his retirement. "If I wanted to continue coaching it would be here. We've got a great staff, really enjoyed the guys, great working for [head coach] Mike [Vrabel], I love our players. I'm done coaching."
"It wasn't a hard sell when he got me out of retirement because of who Mike is," Pees said of Vrabel's pitch to him in 2018. "How he was as a player, I knew how the success he'd have as a coach. It was my honor to be able to work for him for the last two years."
Tennessee finished as the No. 3 defense in terms of opposing points scored in 2018 and 12th in 2019, recording 40 takeaways combined between the two seasons under Pees. The unit's five takeaways logged in Tennessee's first two playoff games this season helped propel the Titans to an unlikely run to the AFC Championship Game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Prior to making the jump to the pros, Pees spent 25 seasons coaching in a variety of roles in the college ranks at Findlay, Miami (Ohio), Navy, Toledo, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Kent State, where he served as head coach from 1998-2003. It was after he was fired from Kent State that he made the leap to New England, kicking off his NFL run.
The 70-year-old Pees spent 47 years coaching football at all levels, working on staffs led by venerated coaches Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh. He closed his career Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.