The majority of you probably think you know who the first minority NFL head coach to win a Super Bowl was. The majority of you are probably mistaken. Tom Flores of the Oakland Raiders was the first minority NFL coach to win a Super Bowl. He won two of them as a matter of fact. He was also the first starting quarterback of Hispanic descent, in American Pro Football. Along with Mike Ditka, he is the only man to win a Super Bowl as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach in NFL history.
Thomas Flores was born on March 21, 1937 in Fresno California. He attended the University of the Pacific, graduating in 1958. He tried out for and was released in the CFL and for the Washington Redskins. Like so many players he got a 2nd shot at a career when the American Football League was founded.
He became the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders in the AFL during the 1960 season. In 1966 Flores passed for 2,638 yards and 24 touchdowns in just 14 games. He was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1967. He was a backup for them until released in 69. He then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs to backup Lenny Dawson. It was as a backup there, that he won his Super Bowl ring as a player.
Tom retired as a player after the 1970 season, one of only 20 players who were in the AFL during it’s entire time of play. He is the 5th leading career passer in AFL history. He became an assistant coach for the Bills then the Raiders.
In 1979 when Hall of Fame Coach John Madden, stepped down as Oakland Raiders head coach, Flores took over. Under Flores the Raiders won Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII. Jim Plunkett became a minority quarterback of a Super Bowl team under Flores.
There was little let down after he replaced Madden. He kept the Raiders tradition of “Just win Baby” alive. Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, Cliff Branch and many more became stars while being coached by Tom Flores.
After the 1987 season Flores stepped down as coach and joined the Oakland Raiders front office. In 1988 he joined the Seattle Seahawks as president and general manager. In 1992 he took over the coaching job for the team. He resigned from that job in 1994. Flores has a coaching record 97 and 87, 8-3 in the playoffs with 2 Super Bowl Victories.
Being the first minority coach with a Super Bowl win (2 actually) and being the first Hispanic quarterback should get him in the Hall of Fame. But so far it has not, probably because he is a minority. And frankly that is a damn shame as he was a very good coach.