Raiders’ Al Davis dies

City News Service

Al Davis, the flamboyant NFL franchise who brought and then removed his Raiders team from Los Angeles, had died at age 82, the team announced Saturday.

Davis had either led or owned the Raiders since 1966, making him the longest-running football boss in NFL history. Under his direction, the Raiders to become one of the most-successful teams in NFL history, with 13 division championships between 1967 and 1985.

No cause of death was announced by the team, although the once-flamboyant Davis had been in declining health recently.

In 1980, Davis was blocked by the NFL from moving his Raiders team from Oakland to Los Angeles. He sued and won an anti-trust case, and the Raiders moved into the venerable Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1982.

But Davis soured on Southern California when he was denied permission to build a new luxury football stadium in Inglewood, and in 1995 he moved the team back to the Bay Area.

Born in Massachusetts, Davis became a football coach at several small eastern universities and then at USC, where he was offensive line coach from 1957-59. He moved up to an offensive coach at the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960, and moved with the team to San Diego.

Davis was named head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1962, and spent a brief tenure as commissioner of the upstart American Football Conference as it challenged the NFL. In 1966, he resigned as AFL commissioner rather than see it merge into the NFL.

He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1992.