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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Raiders’ Al Davis, John Madden inducted into California Sports Hall of Fame

Raiders’ Al Davis, John Madden inducted into California Sports Hall of Fame

Publish Date: 07/04/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The late owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, Al Davis, and their former coach John Madden was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.

While the team may have moved to Las Vegas from Oakland, the franchise has left its mark on the State of California as few teams have. Check out the best new sportsbooks for betting on the NFL!

Jim Gray, a veteran sportscaster, had known Davis for years before the latter passed in 2011. He tweeted photos that were taken at the time they were being inducted together into the same class. One of the photos showed Gray with the busts of Davis and Madden, along with the younger Davis and current owner of the Raiders, Mark Davis, as well as Madden’s immediate family.

Madden’s son, Mike, was in attendance to represent his father, who passed away in December.

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“I know that Al would be so pleased that he and John Madden are being inducted together in the same class,” he said. “Because the two of them were in a class all their own.”

Madden and Davis dominated opponents at an unreal clip, changing the NFL forever. Christian Okoye, the founder of the California Sports Hall of Fame as well as the president of Kansas City Chiefs, said he regarded both Davis and Madden in high regard.

“When you think about the Raiders, you think about John Madden, of course, one of the youngest head coaches when he was hired, and then Al Davis, who hired him,” Okoye said. “He’s one of the guys who actually made the game what it is today.”

Madden’s career

The Raiders had a .759 winning percentage with Madden, which is the highest in NFL history for a coach with at least 100 wins. After the 1976 season the team won Super Bowl XI. After coaching the Raiders, Madden moved on to an iconic broadcasting career.

Before coaching in Oakland, Madden was the defensive coordinator at San Diego State from 1964-1966. He coached at Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, California, from 1960-1963. Madden started on both offense and defense as a player for California Polytechnic College at San Luis Obispo in 1957 and 1958. He was voted to the All-Conference team.

The Philadelphia Eagles selected him as a future player of choice in the 21st round of the 1958 NFL draft. Unfortunately, a knee injury in his rookie season ended his playing career prematurely.

Davis’ journey

Davis moved the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles and then back to Oakland again. The team won Super Bowls in each city⁠—two as the Oakland Raiders and one as the Los Angeles Raiders.

He went through his coaching career for the first time as the line coach at Adelphi College in 1950 and 1951. In 1952 and 1953, he proceeded as the head coach of the US Army team at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on the NFL.

Then, after a year in Baltimore, he worked as a line coach and chief recruiter for The Citadel. He then moved to the University of Southern California, also working as a line coach in 1957, 1958, and 1959.

Davis was named the AFL Commissioner in April 1966 after compiling a 23-16-3 coaching record for three years. Within eight weeks, the AFL and NFL announced a merger, which ended the costly war between both leagues. He then returned to Oakland as a managing general partner.

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