Statewide push underway to induct Tom Flores who lives in the Coachella Valley into the pro football Hall of Fame

Tom Flores, 83, has one of the most prolific records in National Football League (NFL) history as a quarterback and head coach, but has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame based in Canton, Ohio.

All that could change after Democratic Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and other Latino legislators introduced — and approved —a resolution this afternoon to change that.

Tom Flores is a source of pride for Central Valley residents and his life story continues to be an inspiration about overcoming all odds, according to the Bill Text of HR 13. The reasons are clear.
He was born on March 21, 1937, in Sanger, Calif., to Mexican farmworker parents originally from Chihuahua, Mexico and graduated from Sanger Union High School. He played quarterback for two seasons for Fresno City College beginning in 1955 and served on the Student Council and as President of the Associated Men’s Students.

Community support for the induction of Tom Flores has been growing throughout California. Several city councils have recently weighed in support of Flores’ induction by approving resolutions, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Huron, and Flores’ hometown of Sanger, California. Coors Light has even launched a full-fledged media campaign backing Tom Flores’ Hall of Fame bid with commercials spotlighting Flores’ accomplishments.

Push Underway to Induct Flores Into Hall of Fame

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella

“Tom Flores has broken barriers throughout his career, overcoming adversity to accomplish many firsts for Latinos in the NFL. After a lifetime of outstanding accomplishments, Flores has more than earned his spot in the Hall of Fame and should be inducted this year, without delay,” Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, said in prepared statement. “Tom Flores is a living NFL legend and a true inspiration for Latino youth and families across our nation. With this resolution, my colleagues and I want to show that California State leaders stand in support of Flores and declare that representation matters across the board, including in the professional sports world.”

Garcia went on to say that, “I am proud that Tom “The Iceman” Flores now calls our Coachella Valley community home.”

Members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus agree that Flores accomplishments have been unduly passed up and that recognition for this Latino football legend is long overdue. To strengthen statewide advocacy efforts, the Caucus plans to issue a letter of support.

Flores served as assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders starting in 1972. As assistant coach under head coach John Madden, Tom Flores was instrumental in guiding the Oakland Raiders to its Super Bowl XI victory in 1977, defeating the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 32 to 14.. He was hired in 1979 as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, becoming the first Latino head coach in professional football. He was head coach from 1979 to 1987.

He led the Oakland Raiders as a wild-card playoff team to win Super Bowl XV in 1981 against the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 27 to 10, the first Super Bowl win for any wild-card team. After the Oakland Raiders moved to Los Angeles in 1982, Tom Flores led the Los Angeles Raiders to win Super Bowl XVIII in 1984 with a win over the Washington, D.C. football team by a score of 38 to 9.

In 1982, Flores was named the American Football Conference Coach of the Year by the United Press International and the Football Writers’ Association.
Flores was the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 1992 to 1994, and previously served as its president and general manager, the first Latino to hold such a position in the NFL He also served as radio announcer for Raiders Radio Network from 1997 to 2018. He won championships as a player with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1970, with the Oakland Raiders in 1977 as an assistant coach, and as the head coach for the Raiders in 1981 and 1984.
Flores was the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl, winning twice. His head coach records were 97-87 (.527) for the regular season, 8-3 (.727) for the post season, and 105-90 (.538) for his career.
Further adding to the argument for inducting him into the Hall of Fame, Flores and Mike Ditka are the only two people in the NFL history to win a Super Bowl as player, assistant coach, and head coach. Of the 13 coaches in NFL history to win two or more championships, Tom Flores is one of only four who have not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with George Seifert, Mike Shanahan, and Tom Coughlin.
Flores was nominated as a finalist to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 and 2020, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Committee ultimately declined to induct him. Flores has again been nominated as a finalist to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2021.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Committee will be voting during the week of February 6, 2021. Flores must receive 80 percent of the votes from the 48-member panel to be inducted.


Image Sources

  • Tom Flores: Assemblymember Garcia