Tom Benson: A timeline of his life in the NFL

(WVUE) - May 31, 1985 – Tom Benson purchases New Orleans Saints.

Jan. 14, 1986 – Jim Finks is hired by Benson as president/general manager.

Jan. 28, 1986 – Jim Mora is hired as head coach.

Dec. 27, 1987 – With a 33-24 win over Green Bay, the Saints close out the regular season at 12-3, the franchise's first winning record, and would go on to play in their first playoff game the following week.

Jan. 3, 1988 – Saints play in their first playoff contest vs. Minnesota.

Dec. 22, 1991 – In a 27-3 win at the Phoenix Cardinals, the Saints win their first division title in franchise history with an 11-5 record as the defense allowed 211 points, the fewest allowed in the NFL.

Dec. 26, 1992 – The Saints close out a 12-4 regular season, where they gave up a league-best and club record 202 points, also leading the NFL with 57 sacks, while surrendering only 15, the first time since 1977 a club led the league in both categories.

April 25, 1993 – Saints draft eventual NFL Hall of Famer William Roaf in first round.

April 15, 1996 – A state-of-the-art training facility is opened in Metairie, housing the entire Saints organization for the first time in club history, which would later be expanded with an indoor facility and is now called the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

Dec. 30, 2000 – After winning the NFC West with a 10-6 record, the Saints record the franchise's first playoff win with a 31-28 victory over the St. Louis Rams at the Superdome.

May 13, 2002 – Mickey Loomis is promoted to General Manager.

Sept. 8, 2005 – The New Orleans Saints Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund is launched, which would eventually distribute over $1 million to benefit causes in the Gulf South.

Jan. 18, 2006 – Sean Payton is hired as Head Coach.

March 14, 2006 – QB Drew Brees agrees to a five-year contract.

Sept. 25, 2006 – In the team's return to the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina, the Saints defeat the Atlanta Falcons 23-3 before a nationally televised audience.

Jan. 13, 2007 – The Saints defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 in the NFC Divisional Playoff round and advance to the Conference Championship for the first time.

May 5, 2008 – Tom Benson announces plans to purchase WVUE-TV FOX 8, making it the city's only locally-owned television station.

April 30, 2009 – Tom Benson negotiates a lease extension with the State of Louisiana and the Saints through 2025, which resulted in extensive renovations to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the construction of Champions Square outside the facilities and the purchase of an adjacent office building renamed Benson Tower, which was put back into circulation at full occupancy to help revitalize the city's Central Business District.

Dec. 13, 2009 – After their 26-23 win at Atlanta, the Saints will have won their first 13 games of the season.

Jan. 24, 2010 – With a 31-28 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship, the Saints capture the first Conference Championship victory in team history.

Feb. 6, 2010 – LB Rickey Jackson becomes the first Saints player to spend the majority of his career with the club to be voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Feb. 7, 2010 – New Orleans Saints win Super Bowl XLIV.

2010 – In the wake of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Benson and the Saints establish the Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund, which distributes over $1.5 million to local charities.

2011 – Saints finish 13-3, winning the NFC South and set the NFL single-season record with 7,474 total net yards.

Feb. 4, 2012 – T William Roaf voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

May 20, 2012 – Dennis Lauscha, an employee for over 20 years, is promoted by Mr. Benson to Team President.

June 15, 2012 – Tom Benson purchases the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise, which he would rename and rebrand the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013.

Nov. 10, 2013 – LB Rickey Jackson, QB Archie Manning and T William Roaf are the first three inductees into club's Ring of Honor.

Jan. 4, 2014 – Saints win NFC Wild Card Playoff at Philadelphia, 26-24 for franchise's first road playoff win.

June 15, 2015 – Former Saints S Steve Gleason is selected as the Pro Football Writers Association's George Halas Award winner.

Feb 4, 2017 – K Morten Andersen, the NFL's all-time leading scorer, was selected to the 2017 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

July 26, 2017 – Tom Benson purchases the iconic Dixie Beer brand.

Aug. 3, 2017 – A completely renovated Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is dedicated at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Benson donated $10 million to the stadium renovation project and another $1 million towards the construction of a planned retirement facility on the Hall's grounds for retired NFL players.

2017 – The Saints finish the season 11-5, qualify for the playoffs for the 11th time and capture their sixth division title, advancing to the NFC divisional round. Seven Saints are selected to the Pro Bowl for only the second time in franchise history.

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