The Raiders fired their 10th head coach in the last 20 years last night. Dennis Allen, who was fired by owner Mark Davis via phone call, posted an 8-28 record in 2+ seasons with the Raiders. The team named offensive line coach Tony Sparano the interim head coach. Sparano compiled a 29-32 record in four seasons as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Allen’s firing marks the end of yet another short and disappointing era in Oakland. The Raiders have gone through 10 coaches in the last twenty years, with each coach lasting an average of just two seasons before being axed.
Of those 10 coaches, only Jon Gruden left the team with a winning record. You’d have to go back to Red Conkright, who coached the Raiders for one year in 1962, to find a Raiders coach with a worse winning percentage than Allen's (.222).
Raiders fans better hope for more than a new head coach if they hope to consistently win again anytime soon. With so many coaches flaming out in Oakland over the last two decades, it’s clear the Raiders problems transcend any one coaching staff. This is an organization in desperate need of a rebuild from the top down.
Mark Davis has proved more patient than his trigger-happy father Al was at the end of his career, but the Raiders as a whole lack the front office infrastructure that consistently successful teams possess. Instead of seeking out the perfect coach this offseason, Davis should spend some serious time and resources looking for a proven, competent NFL executive to be the team's president. He should then take a hands-off approach and give the president full control of football operations. Otherwise, we'll get more of this:
Best of luck, Sparano.