The 8th franchise of the original AFL was never supposed to be in Oakland but was set up to start life in Minnesota, when the deal fell through. Then rumor had them going to Atlanta but nothing materialized, so they were sent to find a home in the Bay Area of California. They started their professional life at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco from 1960- '61, then moved to Oakland's Frank Youell Field in 1962. They moved into a new state of the art facility, the Oakland Coliseum in 1966. But what I really want to do is set the record straight on the Raider Head Coaches ....past to present !
From '60 to '62 the Raiders went through 3 Head Coaches with Eddie Erdlatz, Marty Feldman, and Red Conkright combining for a losing record of 9 wins and 33 losses. Bringing in Al Davis, a former assistant coach from San Diego, Owner Wayne Valley was about to change the Raiders forever. Al coached the team from '63 through '65 and put up decent numbers, but his real impact was still in his future. His 23-16-1 record as coach was solid but he never took the Raiders to the playoffs. Al Davis left the coaching to John Rauch as he left the Raiders to become Commissioner of the AFL. Rauch took the Raiders to the NFL vs. AFL Championship game (Superbowl 2) which they lost to Green Bay. He also took them all the way to the AFL Championship game, losing to the Chiefs. Al Davis managed to force a merger between the NFL and AFL in just 3 months as Commissioner.
John Rauch was replaced as Head Coach by a young assistant, John Madden.
This was the birth of a period of coaching success and stability that has since been unmatched in the Raider Organization. Madden compiled a record of 103-32-7 with 1 wildcard berth, 7 AFC West titles, 1 AFC championship and a win in Superbowl 11...beating the Vikings 32-14. His ten years as coach is the longest in Raider history.
Tom Flores took over the Head Coaching duties and continued to bring success to Oakland. In 9 seasons from '79 to '87 he produced a record of 83-51-0. He won 2 wildcard berths, 2 AFC West titles, 5 divisional playoff games, 2 AFC Championships, and 2 Superbowl wins. 1980 over the Eagles 27-10 and 1983 over the Redskins 38-9.
After a short unfruitful 2 years with Mike Shanahan as coach with a record of 8-12 Al Davis makes a switch in midseason.
Art Shell became the first Black Head Coach in the modern NFL and quickly showed he had what it takes as he put together a winning record of 75-48.
He continued to lead the Raiders to the playoffs with 2 wildcard berths, 1 AFC West Championship, 2 divisional playoff games and the AFC Championship game in 1990. His 6 years as Head Coach ranks 3rd among Raider coaches.
In 1995 the Raiders return to Oakland after 13 years in L.A. but the stability at Head Coach which had brought such success to the franchise melted into the fog. From '95 to 2008 Al Davis burns through seven coaches.
Mike White '95 to'96 15-17. 1998-2001,Jon Gruden (aka Chucky) was the only coach in this time period with a winning record of 38-26, with 1 Wildcard berth, 1 AFC West title, 2 Divisional playoff games and 1 AFC Championship game. He is widely credited for setting up a winning team for his successor Bill Callahan who took over when Al Davis's jealousy of "Chucky " led him to trade him to Tampa Bay. Bill Callahan coached the team for the '02-'03 seasons and earned a record of 15-17. He did take over a talented team and with Rich Gannon leading the charge went all the way to the Superbowl in 2002 only to get schooled by the Jon Gruden led Buccaneers.
Norv Turner took over the reigns from '04-'05 and inspired no one on the way to a 9-23 record.
The second coming of Art Shell in 2006 proved to be a one year disaster as the lowly Raiders sank to 2-14.
Lane Kiffin came in 2007 with high hopes and plenty of fan support but immediately rubbed Al Davis the wrong way. Going 4-12 the 1st year he was unceremoniously dumped in a public circus by Al Davis after a 1-3 start of the '08 season.
Our present Head Coach Tom Cable grew up a Raider fan and found himself in his dream position, after Lane Kiffin was dumped 4 games into the 2008 season. Taking over the reigns,Cable guided the Raiders to a 4-8 record with a 2 game win streak to finish the year and things were starting to gel. Well...Not!
2009 has proven to be awful as the Raiders enter a mid season bye with a record of 2-6 amid quarterback controversy, uninspired play and off field distractions which might be the end of his tenure as Head Coach. His record of 6-14 is enough to get him fired. Many Raider Coaches have been fired in the past for similar records, but not all. Which side Coach Cable finds himself on only time will tell.
1. John Rauch coached from 1966 - 1968 compiling a record of 33-8-1. This ranks as the highest winning percentage of all Raider Head coaches.
2. John Madden coached for an era from 1969 - 1978 recording a record of 103-32-7 and dominating the AFC West over his ten years as coach. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He had the highest winning percentage of any Coach with 100 or more career wins.
3. Tom Flores was Head Coach of the Raiders for 9 seasons with a record of 83-51-0. Second only to John Madden in the no. of years as Head Coach. Tom Flores recorded two Superbowl wins for the Raiders, leading all Raider Coaches.
4. Al Davis barely slides in with a showing of 23-16-3 from 1963 to 1965. His off field work merging the NFL and AFL in 1966 led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
5. Art Shell had an excellent run with the Raiders as Head Coach finishing the 1989 season after the firing of an ineffective Mike Shanahan and continuing on through 1994. He finished with a record of 54-38-0.
6. Jon Gruden Coached the Raiders from 1998 - 2001 and was particularly popular with the fans, who nicknamed him "Chucky" for his focus and determined coaching style. His popularity with the fans and winning record led to speculation that Al Davis was jealous of his limelight after he traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for draft picks and cash. Gruden earned a record of 38-26 and is widely credited for putting together the team that his successor took to the Superbowl the following year. Tampa Bay and Oakland met in the 2002 Superbowl with "Chucky " getting his revenge on Al Davis by beating the Raiders 48-21.
All other Raider Coaches had losing records starting with their first Coach. These are in chronological order.
1. Eddie Erdelatz 1960-'61... 6-10.
2. Marty Feldman 1961-'62 ... 2-15.
3. Red Conkright finished "62 ... 1-8. Worst of all Raider coaches.
4. Mike Shanahan 1988-'89 ... 8-12. (fired after the 4th game of 89 season).
5. Mike White 1995-'96 ...15-17.
6. Bill Callahan 2002-'03 ... 15-17.
7. Norv Turner 2004-'05 ... 9-23.
8. Art Shell 2006 ... 2-14. (2nd try was 2nd worst ever for Raider coach.)
9. Lane Kiffin 2007-'08 ... 5-15. (Fired in media circus 4 games into '08.)
Tom Cable started his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1989.
His coaching highlights include 6 yrs. offensive line coach at Cal Berkley, Head Coach at U. of Colorado, 2yrs. and U. of Idaho, 2 yrs. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at UCLA from 2004-'05. Offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 that led the league in rushing. In 2007 he came to Oakland, the team he idolized growing up, to take the position of offensive line coach. That year the Raiders finished 6th in rushing and in red zone efficiency from inside the 20 yd. line. Named as interim Head Coach 4 games into the 2008 season and solidified as Pemanent Head Coach in February 2009.
As Head Coach he has been saddled with a poor performing young Quarterback in Jamarcus Russell and equally poor performing rookie wide receivers that have left him with a record of 6-14-0 at the midway point of the 2009 season.
Off field allegations of violent behavior against former assistant Randy Hanson were not prosecuted for discrepancies and lack of evidence.
New found allegations of abusive behavior towards women were brought to bear by ESPN starting with the over 20 year old charge that he struck his ex wife. Admitting guilt over this charge (that was not prosecuted by police at the time for lack of physical injury), he has professed remorse over the incident ever since. Another charge of abuse by an ex girl friend has been refuted by his current wife, (present at the scene) who claims the ex girlfriend was angry and out of control. No charges were filed by police or the ex girlfriend at the time of this incident either, leading to speculation that ESPN may be orchestrating a smear campaign against Tom Cable, the Raiders and Al Davis. The investigation into these allegations is ongoing.