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Raiders coaching search: History of interim head coaches

Most interim head coach’s don’t get full-time gig

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Rich Bisaccia
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Mark Davis has publicly said interim Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce (along with interim general manager Champ Kelly) have a change to keep their new jobs on a full-time basis heading into the 2024 season.

For what’s worth, sources have told Silver and Black Pride that Davis is telling people privately the same thing. If Pierce is kept, though, it would be a departure of his history with interim coaches. and, of course, starting off with a convincing 30-6 victory over the New York Giants did nothing to hurt the good feelings about Pierce.

The late Tony Sparano completed the 2014 season after Dennis Allen was fired after four games. Then-general manager Reggie McKenzie was pushing to keep Sparano, but Davis opted to hire Jack Del Rio as the coach in 2015 over Sparano.

In 2021, Jon Gruden was forced to resign after an email scandal after five games. Special teams coach Rich Bisaccia took over. Bisaccia was basically the king of all interim coaches.

Through turmoil, the player-friendly Bisaccia led the Raiders to the playoffs. Still, Bisaccia, who interviewed for the full-time job, was snubbed as Davis thought he scored big in Josh McDaniels, who was just fired after going 9-16 in Las Vegas.

So, Davis’ history shows, Pierce, 45, is facing an uphill battle. So, that doesn’t mean, Davis won’t change his course. In 2009, Davis’ father Al Davis promoted Tom Cable to the full-time job after his finished the previous season after Lane Kiffin was fired.

Historically, in the NFL, interim coaches usually don’t to keep their jobs via Pro Football Rumors.

Pierce is the 17th interim coach in the league since 2016. The only interim coach to get promoted in that time span was Doug Marrone in Jacksonville in 2017. After the 2015 season, Mike Mularkey was promoted in Tennessee.

Since 2000, there have been 43 interim replacements for coaches who were fired (not suspended) including Pierce. Nine of the first 42 interim coaches this century have been promoted.

So, it’s pretty rare. But Pierce has a chance to prove himself. That’s all he can ask for.