The time with Jon Gruden as the head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders has come to a shocking end after he resigned on Monday following a series of emails that included racist tropes. Suddenly, the Raiders have lost two straight games and their head coach in the last two weeks.
The Raiders have now named Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia as the interim head coach for the rest of the season as they try and overcome this troublesome time after Gruden’s departure. Who is Rich Bisaccia?
Here’s everything you need to know about the guy stepping in to take Gruden’s job.
Rich Bisaccia has lots of coaching experience and finally a chance to be the guy
Bisaccia has been around the NFL for a long time and coached 38 seasons, including his fourth with the Raiders. All but 10 of Bisaccia’s 38 seasons have been in the NFL, and he has been a special teams coordinator for the past two decades. This includes stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, and the Dallas Cowboys before the Raiders.
Bisaccia has been around for quite some time and has found success every step of the way across the NFL and now has the task to try and right the ship after back-to-back losses in Las Vegas.
Before his NFL coaching career, Bisaccia spent 19 years in the college ranks, including stops at Clemson, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and his first stop in Wayne State College in Nebraska. He coached some big names in college, with the biggest being Deuce McAllister.
Bisaccia played college ball at Yankton College in South Dakota as a defensive back and unfortunately never made it to the NFL. Nonetheless, his coaching resume is lengthy, and he gets the chance to be the head coach of the Raiders, albeit not the way anybody envisioned.
The new Raiders head coach should have no problem getting the players to buy in
With everything that has happened in the past week in Las Vegas, it won’t be easy to go out and play a football game on Sunday, especially against a division rival in the Denver Broncos. But, they have no choice, and Bisaccia will immediately need to gain the guys’ trust in the locker room.
The good news is that Bisaccia is a seasoned veteran who has been around the NFL for a long time and is familiar with most of this Raiders roster.
Former Cowboys linebacker Justin March-Lillard played for Bisaccia in Dallas and spoke highly of the Raiders’ new head coach (h/t Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz and Jori Epstein of USA Today).
“He’s so upfront about everything, he’s going to be truthful with you and not really sugarcoat it much. You’re going to know he cares even if it’s not as happy as you might want it to be. You’re going to know he cares just by his approach to you as a man first. That’s the way he leads…He’s not afraid to take accountability for himself and he pushes all the guys in the room to hold ourselves accountable and compete at a high level.”
Justin March-Lillard on Rich Bisaccia
This seems like precisely the guy you want leading a team, especially after everything that happened that led to Gruden’s departure from the organization in what has been an unbelievable turn of events.
What to expect as Bisaccia takes over the sidelines for the Raiders
This is going to be something to watch over the remainder of the season. Gruden was the offensive play-caller there, and his departure might mean offensive coordinator Greg Olson calling the plays.
In all likelihood, it will be Olson calling the shots on offense as Bisaccia tends to everything else involved with being a head coach. First things first, trying to find a way to restore hope in the franchise for the players, fan base, and even team personnel after the past few days have unfolded.
Bisaccia doesn’t have much time to sit back with the Broncos on tap for Sunday, but this team got off to a hot 3-0 start before losing to the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears in back-to-back weeks, so the talent is evident across the board.
Coaching resume courtesy of Raiders.com