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Former Georgia QB Rauch dies.


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Former Georgia QB Rauch dies

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 06/12/08

Former Georgia quarterback Johnny Rauch, who was a passer before passing was cool, died in his sleep Tuesday at his home in Oldsmar, Fla.

Georgia from Yeadon, Pa., in 1945 and proceeded to start all four seasons at quarterback for the Bulldogs.

When he left Georgia for the NFL after the 1948 season, he had become the first player in NCAA history to start four consecutive bowl games and he had set what was then the career passing record with 4,044 yards. The Bulldogs were 36-8-1 with two SEC titles, an undefeated season and a national championship awarded by the Williamson poll in 1946.

Rauch played four seasons in the NFL before embarking on a long professional coaching career. He became head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1966 and guided them to 33 victories in three seasons, including a berth in Super Bowl II. Among his assistants in Oakland were John Madden and Bill Walsh.

"Coach [Wally] Butts was a pioneer in the passing game, and Johnny took what he learned from him to the NFL," said Dan Magill, who knew Rauch when Magill was Georgia's sports information director. "He was known as the father of the West Coast offense, but it was just what he had learned from Georgia."

Rauch, who was voted AFC Coach of the Year in 1967, also was head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 1969, O.J. Simpson's rookie year. Rauch completed his coaching career in 1985, after stints with Philadelphia, Atlanta and Tampa Bay of the NFL, Toronto of the CFL and Tampa Bay of the USFL.

Rauch was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He also was chosen for the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 2000 and Georgia's Circle of Honor in 2001.

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