John Madden began his pro football coaching career in 1967 as the Oakland Raiders’ linebackers coach. After two seasons, he was elevated to head coach. At 32 years of age when he was hired, he became the youngest head coach in the American Football League. In his first year at the Raiders’ helm, Madden earned American Football League Coach of the Year honors as he led the team to a 12-1-1 record and an AFL Western Division title.
Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons, posting a regular season record of 103 wins, 32 losses and 7 ties. During that time, he guided the team to seven Western Division titles, including five in a row from 1972 to 1976. Under Madden’s guidance, Oakland never experienced a losing season. Madden’s Raiders made eight playoff appearances, including a 37-31 six-quarter AFC Divisional Playoff win over the Baltimore Colts in 1977. Perennial winners, the team never finished with fewer than 8 wins in the then-14 game season (8-4-2 in 1970, 1971).
Six times in 10 seasons, Oakland recorded 10 or more victories. In 1976, the coach guided his team to a near-perfect 13-1 record to win the AFC Western Division. The success continued in the post-season with wins over New England in the divisional playoff game and a commanding 24-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Madden and the Raiders capped the 1976 season with a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Between the 1976 and 1977 seasons, the Raiders won 17 consecutive games, one short of the then-NFL record for consecutive wins.
Madden’s .759 regular season winning percentage ranks as highest ever among coaches with 100 career victories. Only Hall of Fame coaches George Halas and Curly Lambeau had reached 100 career wins at an earlier age.
Before coaching in Oakland, Madden was the defensive coordinator at San Diego State, from 1964-1966, where the Aztecs were ranked first among small colleges with a 26-4 record. From 1960-1963 he coached at Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, California. Madden started on both offense and defense as a player for California Polytechnic College at San Luis Obispo in 1957 and 1958, and was voted to the All-Conference team. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him as a future choice in the 21st round of the 1958 NFL Draft, but a knee injury in his rookie season prematurely ended his playing career.
Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame
“When you lose, you not only lose a game, but you lose a little confidence and you lose a little swag,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “(The 49ers) have to get the win and they have to get the confidence and the swag. (People think) these guys are pros and they’re really confident. But when you lose, it’s like a fighter when he gets knocked out. When you lose you don’t know if you’re ever going to win another game.”
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For Sunday night’s sold-out 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium, there were a number of empty seats in the stands as some patrons retreated to the new stadium’s private clubs and suites.
At least 22 NFL players have been injured in the first two weeks of the season. John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew many of them weren’t ready to play.
“You have a lead like that at home, there’s no way you should lose that game,” John Madden told the KCBS radio morning crew. “Turnovers and penalties will probably do it every time. When you have that lead at home and you have a pretty good defense and a pretty good running game, you have to be able to control that game.”
It’s week 2 of the regular NFL season the Coach told the KCBS crew which games he is looking forward to watching.
The Raiders will host the Houston Texans for a sold-out game at the Coliseum on Sunday and Coach Madden said rookie quarterback Derek Carr will face some challenges.
“You would like to say ‘well, let’s get back to football, it’s a game tonight,'” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “It’s hard to say that, even for me. It’s hard to say, ‘okay, let’s just put all that behind us.’ (This issue) is one of the things you can’t just put behind you.”