July 4th, 1929-October 8th, 2011
Inducted into the Hall of fame class of 1992, Al Davis was an offensive coach hired by Charger great Sid Gillman in 1960 and helped the Chargers win 2 division championships in 3 years. He left to become head coach of the Raiders and turned them into one of the most successful teams in the NFL for the next 40 years. In 1970 he was regarded as a significant contributor to the forming of the alliance that merged the AFL and NFL with his aggressive signings and strategies that intensified relationships between the two organizations.
Lance Alworth, one of the greatest Chargers and NFL Players of all time, chose Davis to do his HOF induction speech, as have 8 others. Al Davis was clearly a man in the hearts of so many players and coaches alike. He left an unmistakable footprint across the football world and for that reason will be remembered fondly. Say what you will about the state of the Raiders the last 10 years, Al Davis always wanted the best for his team. It's time for everyone to put their rivalries aside and realize that this was a great person for many reasons.
He will be remembered for his many achievements as the Raiders Coach, CEO and GM, including 3 super bowls and an AFL Championshp, along with 12 AFC West Championships. He also hired the first Hispanic NFL Coach in Tom Flores, along with being a big part of opening other racial bridges in the NFL. His Commitment to Excellence is what has defined not only his team, but a part of the National Football League as we know it.
Goodbye Al Davis, You won, baby.