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Tom Flores
No. 15, 16, 12
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1937-03-21) March 21, 1937 (age 82)
Fresno, California
Career information
High school:Sanger (CA)
College:Pacific
Undrafted:1958
Career history
As player:
* Salinas Packers (1958)
As coach:
* Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders ( 1979)
Head coach
  • Seattle Seahawks ( 1992)
    Head coach
  • Career highlights and awards
    ;As Player:
    As Coach
    Career NFL statistics
    TDINT:93–92
    Passing yards:11,959
    Passer rating:67.6
    Player stats at NFL.com
    Head coaching record
    Regular season:97–87 (.527)
    Postseason:8–3 (.727)
    Career:105–90 (.538)
    Player stats at PFR
    Coaching stats at PFR

    Thomas Raymond Flores (born March 21, 1937) is an American former professional football coach and player.

    He and Mike Ditka are the only two people in National Football League history to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach (Super Bowl IV as a player for the Chiefs, Super Bowl XI as an assistant coach of the Raiders, and Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII as head coach of the Raiders). Flores was also the first Hispanic starting quarterback and the first minority head coach in professional football history to win a Super Bowl.[1]

    Until his dismissal in 2018, Flores served as radio announcer for the Raiders Radio Network.[2]

    Playing careerEdit

    Flores played quarterback for two seasons at Fresno City College, beginning in 1955. He was active off the field too, serving on the Student Council and as President of the Associated Men's Students. He received an academic scholarship to study at the College (now University) of the Pacific. Flores graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1958, but was unable to find a job in professional football. He was cut by the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 1958, after which he spent the season with the Salinas Packers of the Pacific Football Conference along with future Raider teammate turned pro wrestler Don Manoukian. A second attempt to break into pro football with the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in 1959 also failed. In 1960, Flores finally landed a position as a quarterback with the American Football League's Oakland Raiders, who began play in 1960 as a charter member of the league. He was named the Raiders' starter early that season, becoming the first-ever Hispanic starting quarterback in professional football.

    Flores had his most productive season in 1966. Although he completed only 49.3 percent of his attempts, he passed for 2,638 yards and 24 touchdowns in 14 games. Oakland traded him to the Buffalo Bills in 1967. After serving primarily as Jack Kemp's backup, he was released by the Bills after that season (a move that would turn out to be a mistake, as Kemp would be injured in 1968 and the team lacked a competent backup). Flores signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969, where he was backup to Len Dawson on the Chiefs' Super Bowl Championship team. He retired as a player after the 1970 season. He was one of only twenty players who were in the AFL for its entire ten-year existence. He is the fifth-leading passer in the AFL's history.

    In 1988, Flores was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame.[3] In 2007, Flores was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was also inducted into the California Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame. In July 2011, Flores received the Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence that is given by the National Council of La Raza for contributions in society by an Hispanic Athlete. In 2012, he was also inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

    Coaching careerEdit

    Flores is a member of the Sid Gillman coaching tree. After stints as an assistant coach in Buffalo and Oakland (he won a Super Bowl XI ring as an assistant coach under John Madden), Flores became the Raiders' head coach in 1979, following Madden's retirement. In 1980, Flores lead the Raiders as a wild card playoff team to win the Super Bowl XV championship over the Philadelphia Eagles (27-10). This was the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl and the only team to win four post-season games en route to a title until Denver accomplished the same feat in 1997. Flores then moved with the team to Los Angeles in 1982. In the 1983 season Flores lead the Raiders to another Super Bowl (XVIII) victory over the Washington Redskins (38-9). In total, as head coach Flores won 8 of 11 (72.7%) games in post season play. He was named AFC Coach of the year by United Press International and the Football Writer's Association in 1982.

    It is noteworthy that Tom Flores won a championship as a player with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969, as an assistant with the Oakland Raiders in 1976, and as a head coach for the Raiders in 1980 and 1983.

    Flores was the NFL's first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl, winning twice – Super Bowl XV with the Oakland Raiders and Super Bowl XVIII with the Los Angeles Raiders.

    After a 5–10 finish to the 1987 season, Flores moved to the Raiders' front office, but left after just one year to become the president and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks. He returned to coaching as the Seahawks head coach in 1992, but was fired after the 1994 season following three disappointing seasons.[4]

    His 83 wins with the Raiders are the second-most in franchise history, behind only Madden. Flores left Pro Football with a lifetime coaching record of 97–87 (52.7%), as well as an 8–3 playoff record, with two Super Bowl victories. Flores, Jimmy Johnson, and George Seifert are the only eligible coaches with two such victories who have not been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Head coaching recordEdit

    Team Year Regular season Postseason
    WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
    OAK1979 9 7 0 .563 4th in AFC West
    OAK1980 11 5 0 .688 2nd in AFC West 4 0 1.000 Super Bowl XV Champions.
    OAK1981 7 9 0 .438 4th in AFC West
    RAI1982 8 1 0 .889 1st in AFC 1 1 .500 Lost to New York Jets in AFC Second Round Game.
    RAI1983 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XVIII Champions.
    RAI1984 11 5 0 .688 3rd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in AFC Wild-Card Game.
    RAI1985 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game.
    RAI1986 8 8 0 .500 4th in AFC West
    RAI1987 5 10 0 .333 4th in AFC West
    OAK/RAI total 83 53 0 .610 8 3 .727
    SEA1992 2 14 0 .125 5th in AFC West
    SEA1993 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC West
    SEA1994 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC West
    SEA total 14 34 0 .292
    Total[5] 97 87 0 .527 8 3 .727

    Post-coaching careerEdit

    From 1997 until his dismissal in 2018, Flores served as color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Greg Papa for the Raiders Radio Network.[6]

    Flores served as coach of the American team in the 2011 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.[7]

    Personal lifeEdit

    Flores was born March 21, 1937 in Fresno, California. Sanger High School's Football stadium is named "Tom Flores Stadium" in honor of Flores, who was a graduate of Sanger. He heads the Tom Flores Youth Foundation which benefits the K-8th grades in the Sanger School district in the fields of art, science, and sports. In 1961 Flores married Barbara Fridell. Together, they have twin sons and a daughter, three grandsons and two granddaughters. Flores holds an honorary doctorate degree from Pepperdine University for humanitarian service. His biography “Fire in the Ice Man” was released in 1992. Flores also coauthored “Tales of the Oakland Raiders” (2002). Tom is still involved with the Raiders for various events.

    See alsoEdit

    ReferencesEdit

    • Fire in the Iceman: Autobiography of Tom Flores by Flores
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