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By Knight Jarecki

This week's edition of Most Snubbed features former football player and coach Tom Flores. Flores spent over half a century involved with the AFL and NFL but has still not been inducted in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.

Tom Flores was born in Fresno, California and raised 13 miles away in the tiny farming town of Sanger. After not receiving any offers after high school, Flores spent 2 years at Fresno City College before earning an academic scholarship to the University of the Pacific (then College of the Pacific). After going undrafted in 1958, Flores spent 2 years bouncing around different start up leagues before solidifying a position with the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League in 1960. Flores became the starting quarterback immediately and held the position through 1966 when he had his most productive year, throwing for 2,638 yards and 24 touchdowns in an era dominated by the rushing offense. He then was traded to the Bills and spent the 1969 season in Kansas City with the Chiefs as a backup to Len Dawson during their Super Bowl winning season.

Via NBC Sports

Following winning the Super Bowl, Flores then became the quarterbacks coach for the Buffalo Bills. After 1 year in Buffalo, Flores returned to Oakland and served as the Wide Receivers Coach under legendary head coach John Madden. Flores won his second super bowl and his first as a coach in 1977. He became the first person in NFL history to win a Super Bowl as both a player and a coach. Only 1 other person has accomplished the same feat; Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka.

After Madden’s retirement, Flores took over as head coach of the Raiders in 1979. He held the position for 9 years winning the AFC West in 5 of his years. Flores also led the Raiders to two Super Bowl Victories in 1980 and 1983. He finished with a 83-53 record during his tenure with the silver and black. Flores’ 83 wins is second all time in Raiders franchise history behind only John Madden. He is one of 2 coaches to win 2 Super Bowls and not be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

Flores went on to have a role in the Raiders front office and coached with the Seahawks for 3 years before moving to the booth and becoming the color commentator for the Oakland Raiders alongside Greg Papa for the Raiders Radio Network. He was dismissed from the position in 2018 ending his 58 year career in pro football.

It isn’t jus that he was a great player and coach in the NFL, but also the other obstacles Flores overcame. Flores, being from Hispanic descent, was always the first Hispanic person to accomplish what he did. Flores was the first Hispanic starting quarterback in professional football. He also became the first Hispanic coach in history and the first minority head coach to win a super bowl. His accomplishments were the first for Hispanics in professional football and helped pave the way for future Latin heritage athletes. Flores is kind of like the Jackie Robinson of football for the Hispanic community.

Via Sports Illustrated

Flores’ was able to overcome obstacles, not only physically, but also socially as a pioneer for Hispanic football players. After winning 4 total Super Bowls and devoting his life to professional football for 58 years, Flores deserves to hear his name in Canton.

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