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John Rauch (August 20, 1927 – June 10, 2008), also known by his nickname Johnny Rauch, was an
American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. T ...
player and coach. He was head coach of the
Oakland Raiders Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, US. A major West Coast of the United States, West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area), East Bay region of the San Fra ...
in the team's loss to the
Green Bay Packers The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC North, North division. It is ...
in Super Bowl II in early 1968.


Early life

Rauch's football playing career almost ended before it began. At the age of 14, he was diagnosed with a
heart murmur Heart murmurs are heart sounds produced when blood is pumped across a heart valve and creates a sound loud enough to be heard with a stethoscope The stethoscope is an acoustic medical device for auscultation, or listening to internal sou ...
and instructed to give up the sport. Ignoring the dire warnings, Rauch was a three-sport star at Yeadon High School, then put together an outstanding
college football College football is gridiron football consisting of American football in the United States, American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Higher education in the United States, American universities, colleges, and United Sta ...

college football
career. Earning the starting
quarterback The quarterback (commonly abbreviated "QB"), colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in gridiron football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive Platoon system, platoon and mostly line up directly behind the Lineman (footbal ...
slot for the
University of Georgia , mottoeng = To teach and to inquire into the nature of things. 'To serve' was later added to the motto without changing the seal, so the university motto in English now is "To teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of thin ...
as a true freshman in 1945, he led the Georgia Bulldogs football, Bulldogs to a 36–8–1 record. Included in these victories are four straight bowl game appearances, as well as an undefeated record in 1946 Georgia Bulldogs football team, 1946. On an individual level, he won first team 1948 College Football All-America Team, All American accolades following his senior year in 1948 Georgia Bulldogs football team, 1948, and left the school as college football's all-time passing leader with 4,044 yards.


Playing career

Rauch was the second overall pick in the 1949 NFL Draft, taken by the 1949 Detroit Lions season, Detroit Lions, but then sent to the transplanted New York Bulldogs in exchange for the rights to 1948 SMU Mustangs football team, SMU's Doak Walker. During his first season with the Bulldogs in 1949 New York Bulldogs season, 1949, Rauch saw action on both sides of the ball, throwing for 169 yards and one touchdown, while also intercepting two passes. The following year, he saw action in eight contests, throwing for 502 yards and six touchdowns, then split time with New York and the 1951 Philadelphia Eagles season, Philadelphia Eagles in , combining for 288 yards and one touchdown pass. In 1952, rather than accept a trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers to become a player/coach, he accepted an offer from University of Florida Coach Bob Woodruff to join his staff in Gainesville.


College coaching career

In 1952 Florida Gators football team, 1952, Rauch began his coaching career with the first of two seasons at the Florida Gators football, University of Florida. After spending the 1954 season at Tulane Green Wave, Tulane University, he returned to his alma mater, Georgia, the next year as an assistant for four seasons. In 1959 Army Cadets football team, 1959, he headed to West Point, NY as an Army Black Knights football, Army assistant. Three years later, he went back to Tulane for the 1962 campaign.


Professional football coaching career

In 1963 Oakland Raiders season, 1963, Rauch moved to the professional level with the American Football League, AFL's 1963 Oakland Raiders season, Oakland Raiders. Working under head coach Al Davis as the offensive backs coach, Rauch was the heir apparent and was promoted to head coach in April 1966 Oakland Raiders season, 1966, when Davis became commissioner of the AFL. After leading the Raiders to an 8–5–1 mark in his first year, Rauch's squad lost just once during the 1967 Oakland Raiders season, 1967 regular season and faced the
Green Bay Packers The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC North, North division. It is ...
in Super Bowl II in Miami Orange Bowl, Miami. For his efforts, Rauch was named the AFL Coach of the Year. In 1968 Oakland Raiders season, 1968, the team again flourished during the regular season with a 12–2 mark, defeated the 1968 Kansas City Chiefs season, Kansas City Chiefs in a Western Division playoff game, but lost the 1968 American Football League Championship Game, AFL championship game to the 1968 New York Jets season, New York Jets. During his three years as head coach, Davis' frequent interference with the day to day coaching role became a source of aggravation for Rauch. On January 16, 1969, Rauch dealt with the problem by resigning from his championship team to become head coach of the struggling 1969 Buffalo Bills season, Buffalo Bills. The shift meant going from one of the sport's top teams to the team that finished with the worst record. However, with the first pick in the 1969 NFL/AFL draft, the Bills selected Heisman Trophy-winning running back O. J. Simpson. Rauch then caused controversy by expecting Simpson to become more than the one-dimensional running back he was at the 1968 USC Trojans football team, University of Southern California. He expected Simpson to become an all-around running back, necessary in Professional Football, by also blocking and receiving passes out of the backfield, as Rauch had coached successfully at Oakland. Simpson refused to do these added things and friction began. The media, unaware that Simpson often refused to take extra passing drills, viewing them as 'punishment', began a campaign that Rauch was using Simpson as a decoy, which did not explain the indecisiveness in Simpson's style. Having several aging and many very young players, Buffalo improved by only two games to finish with a 4–10 record in 1969 Buffalo Bills season, 1969. Following a 3–10–1 record in 1970 Buffalo Bills season, 1970, Rauch avoided being dismissed, and was seemingly prepared to handle the reins for the upcoming year. However, on July 20, 1971 Buffalo Bills season, 1971, he abruptly resigned following a heated discussion with team owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. The source of the argument stemmed from Rauch's comments about former Bills' players Ron McDole and Paul Maguire. Wilson, without any consultation with Rauch, had traded the 31-year-old McDole to the 1971 Washington Redskins season, Washington Redskins. Maguire who had become a problem with excessive lack of decorum on the practice field, was not offered a contract for the 1971 season by Rauch. On Rauch's first television show of the 1971 season prior to opening training camp, when asked about McDole, he stated, in loyalty to Wilson, that they traded McDole "while they could get something in return" due to his age. When asked why he did not offer Maguire a contract, he commented that all Maguire cared about was "how to get out of work and when's the next party." Training camp opened the next day and later in the week Wilson arrived at camp and indicated that he would issue a statement of support for the players (in spite of the fact that Wilson himself had traded McDole). Rauch said "if you do that, you can have my resignation". Wilson accepted. After briefly serving as a scout for the 1972 Green Bay Packers season, Packers, Rauch was hired on October 10 as quarterback coach of the 1972 Philadelphia Eagles season, Eagles. He served in that capacity until the entire staff was fired on December 18, 1972. Less than three weeks later, Rauch was hired as head coach of the Canadian Football League's 1973 Toronto Argonauts season, Toronto Argonauts, leading the team to a playoff berth in his first year. After the team was sold to a new owner and a slow start to begin the 1974 Toronto Argonauts season, 1974 season, Rauch was dismissed on September 4. Returning to the NFL the following year, Rauch served as backfield coach for the 1975 Atlanta Falcons season, Atlanta Falcons, but then resigned on February 18, 1976, to become offensive coordinator of the expansion 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That tenure would prove to be short after Rauch had repeated conflicts with head coach John McKay (football coach), John McKay, over McKay's demand to only utilize the I-formation that Rauch felt could not be successful in the NFL. After a successful 334 total yards game against the Dolphins with Rauch and quarterback, Steve Spurrier, calling the plays, McKay commented that there wasn't anything they did in the game that they couldn't have done out of the I-formation. McKay called the plays the next week out of the I with no success, but complained about the offense's performance. Rauch had had enough with McKay and resigned. The same day he resigned from Tampa, Rauch returned to Atlanta to work under interim coach Pat Peppler, but the staff was not retained after the team won three of its final nine games. Desiring to live in the Tampa area, Rauch was intent on at least "semi-retirement" in 1977. Later in the same year, Rauch became aware of problems with the football program at a local school, Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida. He contacted the school and offered to help find a coach for the then-struggling program. When his search proved fruitless, Rauch felt an obligation to the school, and accepted the position as head coach for one season, on September 10, 1977; during that time, a successor was found. He also served as director of the short-lived Canadian-American Bowl, a postseason all-star game. Rauch also served as a part-time writer for the ''St. Petersburg Independent'', a local newspaper that had him cover his old team, the Raiders, when they reached Super Bowl XV. Upon the arrival of the United States Football League, Rauch returned to professional football as the Tampa Bay Bandits' director of operations. In 2003, Rauch was honored for his stellar career in the college ranks when he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.


Death

Rauch died in 2008 at age eighty in his sleep, possibly due to a heart problem, at his home in Oldsmar, Florida.


Head coaching record


References


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Rauch, John 1927 births 2008 deaths American football quarterbacks Army Black Knights football coaches Atlanta Falcons coaches Buffalo Bills coaches Florida Gators football coaches Georgia Bulldogs football coaches Georgia Bulldogs football players New York Bulldogs players New York Yanks players Oakland Raiders coaches Philadelphia Eagles coaches Philadelphia Eagles players Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaches Toronto Argonauts coaches Tulane Green Wave football coaches College Football Hall of Fame inductees Sportspeople from Delaware County, Pennsylvania Sportspeople from Philadelphia People from Oldsmar, Florida Players of American football from Pennsylvania