There are many Raider greats who await their turn to get the gold jacket of the NFL Hall of Fame, but one in particular came one step closer today. Two-time Super Bowl winning head coach and former Raiders quarterback Tom Flores was named a modern-era finalist for the 2019 Hall of Fame class, joining 14 other former greats on the list.
Flores is one of the best examples of the Raiders’ commitment to diversity in players, coaches and executives. He was the first professional Hispanic starting quarterback when he was under center for the Raiders in their first AFL season in 1960, and he became the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl when the Raiders defeated the Eagles in 1980. Flores won the Super Bowl a second time over Washington two years later.
Flores also won Super Bowl rings as a player for the Chiefs in 1969 and as an assistant coach for the Raiders under John Madden in 1976. Flores coached the Raiders from 1979 until 1987 and paved the way for minority head coaches in football, reaching the pinnacle of his profession. His regular season record as a head coach was 83-53 and he was 8-3 in the playoffs. Flores also served as a longtime radio broadcaster for the Raiders.
The final round of selections, which will determine the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, will be held the day before the Super Bowl. The Hall of Fame names anywhere between four and eight new members each year, with no more than five modern-era finalists getting in at a time.
Other modern-era finalists include former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez, WR Isaac Bruce, CB Champ Bailey, RB Edgerrin James, S Ed Reed, S Steve Atwater, CB Ty Law, S John Lynch, G Alan Faneca, former Patriots and Raiders DT Richard Seymour, former Chargers head coach Don Coryell, former Jaguars OT Tony Boselli, C Kevin Mawae, and G Steve Hutchinson. Also up for selection are former Chief safety Johnny Robinson, former Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt.