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Today in Sports History: 2/4 | John Madden Named Head Coach of Oakland Raiders

Today in sports history (1969), the Oakland Raiders promoted linebackers coach John Madden to head coach. Madden would coach the Oakland Raiders for 10 seasons and go on to be arguably the biggest icon in NFL history.

John Madden Head Coach of Oakland Raiders

Madden was hired by Al Davis to be the linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders in 1967. He helped the Raiders advance to Super Bowl II that season. When Raiders head coach John Rauch resigned to accept the head coaching position for the Buffalo Bills, Madden took his place. John Madden was named head coach of the Raiders at the age of 32, becoming the youngest NFL head coach of all time.

His coaching career was one of the greatest of all time. Although he didn’t coach for very long, Madden compiled an impressive 103-32-7 record. In his 10 years at the helm, the Raiders won the division seven times and never finished lower than second. Under Madden, Oakland only missed the playoffs twice.

Although Madden had trouble in the playoffs, he consistently got Oakland to the brink of glory. The Raiders did lose five AFC Championship games under Madden, but he did eventually achieve the ultimate goal. In 1976, the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14, to win Super Bowl XI.

john madden today in sports history nfl
Credit: South Pasadena News/Photographer Unknown

John Madden in Pop Culture

For as good of a coach as Madden was, he was even better as a television broadcaster. His fun, easy-going personality was beloved by fans. Madden had the uncanny ability to break down the most complex plays into such a digestible way for the common fan. He would be a staple on TV from 1979-2009.

His name also lives on in the video game industry and will likely live on until the end of time. In 1988, Madden lent his name, voice, and input to create the John Madden Football series of video games which are now known as Madden NFL. For many football fans and players, these games were the start of a lifelong fandom for the game.

Although John Madden passed away on December 28th, 2021 at the age of 85, his memory and legacy will last forever.

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