In the history of the Las Vegas Raiders franchise – which saw teams in Oakland and Los Angeles – there have been 20 head coaches, the most well-renowned of these being John Madden, Tom Flores, and Jon Gruden.
The first of these head coaches was Eddie Erdelatz, who coached just one full season in 1960. He went 6-8 that year and was replaced the following season after an 0-2 start.
The Raiders first successful coach came in the form of eventual owner/GM Al Davis, who won AFL Coach of the Year in 1963 and was the team’s coach for three seasons.
The first long term tenure as head coach of the Raiders belonged to John Madden, whose illustrious coaching career led to the video game being named after him.
Madden was the franchise’s sixth head coach, and stayed at the helm for 10 seasons, finishing up with a final record of 103-32-7, a winning percentage of .750.
Madden also helped the Raiders win their first of three Super Bowls, taking home Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings in Southern California’s famous Rose Bowl. That team was led by quarterback Ken Stabler and running back Clarence Davis.
Madden only won one NFL Coach of the Year award, in 1969, but was instrumental in putting the Raiders on the map as a football powerhouse.
The Raiders’ next major coaching success came immediately following Madden when Flores took things over in 1979. Flores was the coach through the Raiders’ first move from Oakland to Los Angeles and helped the team win two Super Bowls in 1980 and 1983.
Flores was with the team for nine seasons, and was ultimately let go after the ninth season of his tenure was a 5-10 dud.
Since Flores’ departure in 1987, the Raiders moved back to Oakland and, in 2020, finalized a move to Las Vegas. They’ve been to just one Super Bowl since ’87, losing in Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coached by Gruden who was just one year removed from his first stint with the Raiders.
Gruden, after four years with the team from 1998-2001, was rehired with the team in 2018 on a 10-year contract.
Gruden was penned as the coach who would help lead the Raiders through their transition to Las Vegas, and has an 11-21 record through his first two years of the deal.
Due to their ongoing rebuild, the next few years will be the true test of Gruden’s success, as he hopes to put his name alongside Madden and Flores as the best coaches in team history.