John Rauch: Wikis


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John Rauch
Date of birth August 20, 1927(1927-08-20)
Place of birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Date of death June 10, 2008 (aged 80)
Oldsmar, Florida
Position(s) Quarterback
Head Coach
College Georgia
NFL Draft 1949 / Round 1 / Pick 2
Career record 40-28-2
1967 AFL Championship
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
New York Bulldogs
New York Yanks
Philadelphia Eagles
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
*-Head Coach
University of Florida
Tulane University
University of Georgia
Tulane University
AFL Oakland Raiders
AFL Oakland Raiders*
AFL Buffalo Bills*
NFL Philadelphia Eagles
CFL Toronto Argonauts*
NFL Atlanta Falcons
NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Atlanta Falcons
USFL Tampa Bay Bandits
College Football Hall of Fame

John "Johnny" Rauch (August 20, 1927 – June 10, 2008) was an American football player and coach.


Early life

Rauch's football playing career almost ended before it began. At the age of 14, he was diagnosed with a heart murmur 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 career. Earning the starting quarterback slot for the University of Georgia as a true freshman in 1945, he led the 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. On an individual level, he won first team All American accolades following his senior year, and left the school as college football's all-time passing leader with 4,044 yards.

Professional Football playing career

Rauch was drafted by the Detroit Lions, as the number two pick in the 1949 NFL Draft, but then sent to the transplanted New York Bulldogs in exchange for the rights to Southern Methodist University's Doak Walker. During his first season with the Bulldogs in 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 Philadelphia Eagles in 1951, combining for 288 yards and one touchdown pass.

College coaching career

In 1952, Rauch began his coaching career with the first of two seasons at the University of Florida. After spending the 1954 season at Tulane University, he returned to his alma mater the next year as an assistant for four seasons. In 1959, he headed back to New York as an Army assistant, working with future boss Al Davis. Three years later, he went back to Tulane for the 1962 campaign.

Professional football coaching career

1in 1963, Rauch moved to the Professional level to begin a three-year stint with the American Football League's Oakland Raiders. Working under Davis, Rauch was the heir apparent and was promoted to head coach on April 8, 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 regular season and faced the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II. For his efforts, Rauch was named the AFL Coach of the Year.

In 1968, the team again flourished during the regular season with a 12-2 mark, but lost the AFL championship game to the New York Jets. During the latter stage of the season, Davis' frequent visits to practice became a source of aggravation for Rauch. On January 16, 1969, Rauch dealt with the problem by resigning to become head coach of the 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 college draft, the Bills selected Heisman Trophy-winning running back O.J. Simpson. Rauch then caused controversy by using the fleet runner as a blocking back and "decoy," negating Simpson's ample skills, with Buffalo improving by only two games to finish with a 4-10 record in 1969.

Following a 3-10-1 record in 1970, Rauch avoided being dismissed, and was seemingly prepared to handle the reins for the upcoming year. However, on July 20, 1971, he abruptly resigned following a heated discussion with team owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. The source of the argument stemmed from Rauch's negative comments about former Bills' players Ron McDole and Paul Maguire. When Wilson indicated that he would issue a statement of support for the players, Rauch quit.

After briefly serving as a scout for the Packers, Rauch was hired on October 10 as quarterback coach of the 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 Toronto Argonauts, leading the team to a playoff berth in his first year. After a slow start to begin the 1974 season, Rauch was dismissed on September 4, 1974.

Returning to the NFL the following year, Rauch served as backfield coach for the Atlanta Falcons, but then resigned on February 18, 1976, to become offensive coordinator of the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That tenure would prove to be short after Rauch had repeated conflicts with head coach John McKay, resulting in his resignation after just five regular season games.

Rauch returned to Atlanta to work under interim coach Pat Peppler, but was not retained after the team won three of its final nine games.

Seeking a lower profile after years in the professional football ranks, Rauch was intent on at least "semi-retirement" in 1977. Having always been fond of the Tampa Bay area, the timing seemed to be right to slow things down. 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.


Rauch died in his sleep, possibly due to a heart problem, on June 10, 2008 at his home in Oldsmar, Florida.

See also


External links

Preceded by
Al Davis
Oakland Raiders Head Coaches
Succeeded by
John Madden
Preceded by
Harvey Johnson
Buffalo Bills Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Harvey Johnson
Preceded by
Hank Stram
AFL Championship winning Head Coach
Succeeded by
Weeb Ewbank
Preceded by
Leo Cahill
Toronto Argonauts Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Joe Moss


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