On This Day: Al Davis Takes Over
They were 1-13 in 1962, losing their first 13 games of the season – their 3rd season in Oakland and in the American Football League.
The Raiders needed a LOT of help.
Enter fate and destiny.
Back on this day in 1963, Raiders owner F. Wayne Valley and Raiders GM Ed McGah would take a flier on an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers named Al Davis, but it was what transpired 17 days earlier that makes the story and supports what we’ve always known about the maverick Davis.
On January 1, 1963, Davis met with Valley and McGah and, according to witnesses present at the negotiations, Davis did not have a high opinion of the owner and GM. How was this known? Davis indicated as much during their absence that neither of them knew the right questions to ask in that particular interview.
The Raiders offered him a one-year contract as head coach. Davis declined, insisting on a multiyear deal as both head coach and general manager, with complete control over football operations. The parties settled on three years at a salary of $20,000 a year. According to Davis biographer Ira Simmons, the date that Davis came to Oakland, January 18, 1963, “was probably one of the three or four most important dates in AFL history. Maybe NFL history too.” Valley later stated, “we needed someone who wanted to win so badly, he would do anything. Everywhere I went, people told me what a son of a bitch Al Davis was, so I figured he must be doing something right.”[
The rest, as they say, is history from one of the sport’s greatest architects and respected Hall-of-Famer.