Following Jon Gruden’s resignation as Raiders head coach after it was revealed he used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails, Rich Bisaccia was named Las Vegas’ interim head coach, thrusting the 61-year-old Yonkers native into the spotlight.
The Raiders’ game against the Broncos on Sunday will mark Bisaccia’s first game ever as a head coach in his 38th season coaching football.
Bisaccia, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator for the Raiders since 2018, has worked in the NFL since 2002, when he became the special teams coordinator for the Buccaneers. Bisaccia worked with Gruden in Tampa Bay until Gruden was fired after the 2008 season. Bisaccia remained with the Bucs through 2010 before becoming the Chargers’ special teams coordinator, a position he held for two seasons before he took the same job with the Cowboys.
After five seasons in Dallas, Bisaccia reunited with Gruden when Gruden made his return to coaching in 2018 for his second stint with the Raiders.
Bisaccia was named interim head coach over defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, offensive line coach Tom Cable and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, all of whom are former NFL head coaches.
“Since he’s a special teams coach, he’s involved with more players than any other coach in our building,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters on Wednesday. “I’ve endorsed him for a lot of head coaching jobs for a lot of years, both in college and the NFL. He’s got as much respect in the locker room as any coach I’ve seen in my entire coach. A great coach, hell yeah. But he’s an even greater man. He’s a natural leader of men.”
Bisaccia graduated from New Fairfield HS in Connecticut and played defensive back at Yankton College in South Dakota from 1979-82. His long coaching career began at Wayne State in 1983. He went on to work at South Carolina, Clemson and Ole Miss before making the jump to the NFL.
Former associates of Bisaccia told USA Today that he has “always carried himself as a head coach” and has wanted to be one. He’s finally getting his chance.