Las Vegas Raiders appoint interim head coach

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

The Las Vegas Raiders appointed their special teams coordinator Rich Bassacia to be their interim head coach last month. Just before his promotion, Raiders ex-head coach, Jon Gruden, resigned from his position on Monday, Oct. 11. The cause of his resignation was the discovery of unprofessional emails shared between him and the former general manager of the Washington Football Team, Bruce Allen. 

Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001; 2000 was the year when he brought the Raiders to a 12-4 record. 2001 was not a tremendous season, leading him to be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, where he courageously won a championship. He retired, eventually becoming a color analyst for ESPN. 

Back in 2018, he signed a 10-year contract with the Raiders for $100 million. Of those 10 years, however, he only spent four seasons with the Raiders before resigning. 

He was known for his aggressive, leader-like attitude on the field. Fans knew him as “Chucky,” a scary, life-like doll he resembles. Football connoisseurs and fans alike were shocked and devastated by the release of the emails. 

“In emails from 2011, while he was at ESPN, through early 2018, Gruden frequently unleashed racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in conversations with Allen and others,” Emmanuel Morgan of New York Times stated. “The correspondence — more than 650,000 emails — came to light as part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team, which fired Allen in 2019,” Morgan added.

One of those emails included Gruden degrading NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith by using racist terms. Gruden referred to Smith as being “rubber lipped.” Further saying his lips were the size of “michelin tires.” 

Not only are fans impacted by the news, but the Raiders’ staff and lineup have been heavily impacted, as well. 

“And then it comes out literally almost right after – he resigned and that right there was emotional for me,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr expressed in an interview with Hall of Famer and former Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson. “I hugged him and his wife, and I said ‘Thank you coach for coming back to coach me,’” Carr stated.

Remarkable things have yet to happen for the Raiders this season. Their current record is 5-5 gamewise, including the additional loss on Sunday, Nov. 21, when they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals with a final score of 13-32. 

With Bassacia as the interim head coach, the Raiders look to improve in remaining games this season.