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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Big-name addition

     January 17, 1969 -- The Bills made some headlines when they hired a coach for the 1969 season.

     After all, only five NFL coaches had ever guided a team to the Super Bowl at that point, and now the Bills had one of them.

     John Rauch had coached the Oakland Raiders to the AFL championship in 1968, only to lose to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II. A year later, Rauch apparently felt a need to get away from Raiders' owner Al Davis. So Rauch resigned from his job on the West Coast and sign a four-year contract to come to Buffalo.

     Rauch, if nothing else, had smart people surrounding him in Oakland; two of his assistants were John Madden and Bill Walsh. He could have used them in Buffalo, as his Bills struggled despite the addition of O.J. Simpson in 1969.

      Rauch's only other head coaching position came in Toronto in the Canadian Football League. He left in 1974. Rauch died in 2008.

--- Budd Bailey

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