A former Clemson assistant coach met with the media Wednesday after being named the interim head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this week in the wake of Jon Gruden’s resignation.
Rich Bisaccia — Clemson’s running backs coach from the 1993 Peach Bowl through the 1998 season under Tommy West — is grateful for his first head coaching opportunity in the NFL after being a special teams coach in the league since 2002 with the Buccaneers, Chargers, Cowboys and Raiders.
“This is certainly an exciting moment,” Bisaccia said, via Raiders.com. “It’s an incredible opportunity, certainly, not only for me, but for all of the other coaches that are here to see what we can do in this adversity; see what we can do with this challenge; see what we can do with the next day, and the same thing for our players.
“Am I excited? I’m certainly excited. … I’ve been doing a lot of different things in this football world for a long time, so with the help of all of those other assistants that are up there, we’re going to do the best job we can.”
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, who also spoke with reporters Wednesday, had high praise for Bisaccia and expressed full confidence in him as he takes over the head coaching duties for the franchise.
“I’ve known this guy for a lot of years, and I hope you get to meet him a little bit and see what a special person he is,” Mayock said. “Since he’s a special teams coach, he’s involved with more players on the team than any other coach in our building. He’s involved with the offensive guys. He’s involved with the defensive guys. The irony is I’ve endorsed him for a lot of head coaching jobs over the years, both in college and the NFL, back when I had a different job.
“He’s got as much respect in the locker room, in our locker room, as any coach I’ve ever seen in my life and the reason he does – is he a great coach? Hell yeah. But he’s an even better man and what I’ve always told people when I endorse him is that he’s the most natural leader of men that I have ever been around.”
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