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Al Davis

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Al Davis

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis looks on during the game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 24, 1995 in Oakland, California.

George Rose/Getty Images

Early Career:

Prior to joining the Oakland Raiders for the first time, Al Davis was an offensive ends coach for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers of the American Football League. In 1963, however, he was hired to be both the head coach and general manager in Oakland.

At just 33, Davis was the youngest in the league at his positions. Despite his youth, though, he quickly made his presence felt by turning the team around on the field, leading the team to more wins in his first season than they had recorded in the prior three seasons combined.

In three years, Davis compiled a 23-16-3 coaching record.

AFL Commissioner:

In 1966, Davis accepted a position as commissioner of the upstart American Football League and almost immediately led an aggressive campaign to compete with the old guard National Football League. Davis was a driving force in spurring other AFL owners to sign big-name free agents away from the NFL. And just eight weeks into his tenure, seemingly worn down by years of competing with the AFL, the NFL agreed to a merger of the two leagues.

Return to the Raiders:

Davis resigned as ALF commissioner just months later and returned to the Raiders, buying a 10% share in the team. He emerged as one of three general partners, along with Wayne Valley and Ed McGah, and also took over as head of football operations.
Davis hand picked John Rauch to succeed him as the Raiders head coach, and in 1967 the team defeated the Houston Oilers 40-7 to win the AFL Championship and earn a berth in Super Bowl II. The Raider, however, were defeated 33-14 in the Super Bowl by Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. The next two seasons, Oakland again appeared in the AFL title game, but lost each time to the eventual Super Bowl winners; the New York Jets (1968) and Kansas City Chiefs (1969).
in 1972, Davis made a power play to take over as managing general power and succeeded, giving him nearly complete control of the franchise. He served as his own general manager until his death in 2011, often butting heads with the NFL and occasionally suing the league over a variety of issues.

With Davis in full control, though, the Raiders became one of the most successful and recognizable teams in the National Football League and all of sports.

Making a habit of taking other teams' castoffs and renegades and building winners out of them, Davis guided his club to three Super Bowl wins (XI, XV, and XVIII). To this day, he is still the only person to serve as a personnel assistant, scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner and team owner.

In 1992 he received the sports' highest honor when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame alongside Lem Barney, John Mackey, and John Riggins.

Through all of his years in the league, one thing remained constant with Davis, though. His mantra - "Just Win Baby".
Born: July 4, 1929, - Brockton, Massachusetts
Died: October 8, 2011

Super Bowl Wins
1976 Super Bowl XI
1980 Super Bowl XV
1983 Super Bowl XVIII

Other Championships
1967 AFL Championship
1976 AFC Championship
1980 AFC Championship
1983 AFC Championship
2002 AFC Championship

Coaching/Administrative
1950–1951 - Adelphi (Offensive Line Coach)
1953–1956 - The Citadel (Offensive Line Coach)
1957–1959 - Southern California (Offensive Ends Coach)
1960–1962 - Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers (Offensive Ends Coach)
1963–1965 - Oakland Raiders (Head Coach/General Manager)
1966 - AFL Commissioner
1966–1972 - Part-Owner/General Manager
1972-2011 - Principal Owner/General Manager

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