Tom Flores

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Tom Flores
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-03-21) March 21, 1937 (age 78)
Place of birth: Fresno, California
Career information
High school: Sanger
College: Pacific
Undrafted: 1958
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
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.

Flores and Mike Ditka are the only 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 Bowls XV and XVIII as head coach of the Raiders). Flores was also the first Hispanic starting quarterback[1] and the first minority head coach in professional football history to win a Super Bowl.[2]

Flores is currently a radio announcer for the Raiders Radio Network.

Biography[edit]

Football player[edit]

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.

Coaching career[edit]

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. He followed the team to Los Angeles in 1982. It is noteworthy that Tom Flores won a championship as a player with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1970, as an assistant with the Oakland Raiders in 1977, 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.[3]

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, and 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.

Post-coaching career[edit]

Flores is currently the color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Greg Papa on the Raiders radio network. Flores served as coach of the American team in the 2011 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.[4]

Sanger High School's Football stadium is named "Tom Flores Stadium" in honor of Flores, who was a graduate of Sanger.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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