Seventeen years. That’s how long Rich Bisaccia has been a Special Teams Coordinator in the NFL. And he coached at the college ranks for 19 years before that. He’s as respected a coach as you’ll find. And when you speak with him, you can see he has a commanding presence that players respond to. He looks like head coaching material. But he’s never been one at any level.
Along with his Special Teams Coordinator duties, Bisaccia is currently the Raiders Assistant Head Coach — a position the 58-year-old has held for ten years for four different NFL clubs and in college before that at Mississippi. His head coach thinks Bisaccia is a perfect choice to take the leap to command his own NFL team.
“Yeah, I always felt that,” Gruden said of Bisaccia as a head coaching candidate. “I think he’s got the leadership. He has work ethic. He has all the things you’re looking for to be a great head coach. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get an opportunity.”
The thing is though; Special Teams Coordinators are very rarely tabbed as head coaches. And it’s rather doubtful Bisaccia’s one NFL season also holding the position of running backs coach (2008) would change that. Gruden agrees that is “possibly” the reason Bisaccia has never been hired as a head coach, but thinks that shouldn’t be a hinderance.
“I don’t overthink things. I do think that usually the best guys get the jobs,” Gruden added of Bisaccia. “He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever coached with. I’d certainly recommend him to anybody.”
Each offseason there are several job openings in the NFL. There are already a couple interim head coaches in place after head coaches were fired (Browns and Packers) and more firings are bound to happen at season’s end. It will be interesting to see if Bisaccia can get an interview for one of those positions.