I wrote in this space a couple of weeks ago about former NFL head coaches who should earn enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One of those I mentioned was Tom Flores, who led the Raiders to a pair of Super Bowl titles but is rarely mentioned when it comes to making it into the Hall of Fame.
I asked Flores recently about which coaches influenced him the most during his career.
“My connection with Sid Gillman was through Al Davis. Al brought a lot of Sid’s philosophy and coaching techniques with him when he became the head coach of the Raiders in 1963. What I learned from Al had a big influence in how I approached and coached the game,” said Flores, 78. “I believe every coach gets his basics from those that he has worked for or with. From there they develop their own philosophy using that which they have learned and embraced from these mentors.
“I took the parts of all my coaches, going all the way back to high school, I liked and developed my own way of coaching,” he added. “You should never try to be someone else but you can certainly emulate what that coach did that left an impression. Then, improvise those methods to fit your own personality.”
I mentioned the Hall of Fame to Flores, who responded: “Hopefully it will happen while I am still able to enjoy it.”
Trivia Time – Johnny Unitas played college football at the University of Louisville.
This week’s question – Where did Tom Flores play college football on an academic scholarship?