4. John Rauch (1966-68)
John Rauch was the coach of the Oakland Raiders during one of the most dominant periods in franchise history. Originally an assistant under Al Davis, Rauch took on the head coaching role when Davis became the AFL commissioner and the team really took off.
After an 8-5-1 first season, Rauch and the Raiders went a combined 25-3 in 1967-68 and captured the franchise’s first title when they defeated the Houston Oilers in the AFL championship. They were beaten in Super Bowl II by the Green Bay Packers and fell just short of advancing to Super Bowl III when they lost to the New York Jets in the ’68 AFL title game.
Rauch was not a fan of what he described as Al Davis’s interference in his coaching so he resigned after the 1968 season to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. He never experienced the same success in Buffalo that he did in Oakland so maybe that “interference” from Davis wasn’t so bad in the long run.
Despite the short run as coach of the Raiders, Rauch helped deliver the franchise’s first title and his .805 winning percentage is the best in team history. Perhaps Rauch should have stuck around in Oakland longer but his replacement was just a little bit better of a coach than him so it all worked out for Raider Nation.