Friday, October 10, 2014

1969 Profile: John Rauch

Head Coach
"The opportunity to be his own man at last was the reason John Rauch gave for leaving the Oakland Raiders at the conclusion of last season to take over the coaching job in Buffalo. There were skeptics who sneered - there always are - but why else would a man want to leave Oakland, with its championship-caliber football club for Buffalo, with its fallen team and its miserable winters?
During his three years as head coach of the Raiders, Rauch compiled the best won-lost record in professional football. But Rauch always had the sensation former coach Al Davis was looking over his shoulder. It was Davis, after all, who had molded the Raiders into what they were, and then had voluntarily stepped down to fight the AFL's then existing war against the NFL. That chore accomplished, Davis then came back to the job of managing general partner, which some people construed as overseer to Rauch. Both men denied it, and indeed, Rauch insists that he made his own decisions, and that these were sometimes in conflict with Davis' theories. So the parting was completed just after the Raiders lost the AFL championship to the Jets.
The Bills became John's second pro team following a lengthy career that began at the University of Georgia, where he was an All-America quarterback. He played pro football for the old New York Yankees, then took a series of college coaching jobs. He joined Oakland at the time Davis was beginning to form the Raiders, and he remained a top assistant until Davis handed him the number one job three years ago.
But John knows you don't get handed jobs for nothing. You produce or else. Those terms will suit him fine in Buffalo."

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1969

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