Ex-Raiders OL Coach Boghosian Dies at 88

Tom LaMarre

by Tom LaMarre

Sam Boghosian, who coached the Raiders’ offensive line from 1979-87, has passed away at the age of 88, the team announced.

Boghosian was with the Raiders for their victories in Super Bowls XV and XVIII.

The team said in a statement: “The Raiders Family is saddened by the passing of Sam Boghosian, who served nine seasons as the Silver and Black's offensive line coach and was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams. Sam had a passion for coaching and exemplified the motto, Commitment to Excellence. The thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation are with Sam's wife, Judy, his daughter, Jody, and the entire Boghosian family.”

Boghosian was born on Dec. 22, 1931, in Fresno and played guard for UCLA from 1952-54, starting in the Rose Bowl after his junior year, when Michigan State pulled off a 28-20 upset the Bruins, who were previously undefeated at 9-0 and had been voted UPI National Champions.

After graduation, Boghosian remained at UCLA as an assistant coach from 1955-64 and also coached at Oregon State from 1965-75, the two last seasons as head coach.

Boghosian moved to coaching in the NFL with the Houston Oilers in 1976 and the Seattle Seahawks in 1977-78 before joining the Raiders. He was offered the head coaching job at Oregon State again in 1984, but turned it down.

“Very strict but with some compassion, and you need that with offensive linemen because they’re big,” Tom Flores, who made Boghosian his first hire when he became head coach of the Raiders, told the Fresno Bee. “I can still remember and close my eyes and see him say ‘Butt down.’ I used to kid him about that.

“ … One game, we were playing and he just kept yelling because one of the players missed a block. I said, ‘Sam,’ and he said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘We scored a touchdown.’

“He was a dear friend. Loyal, just a friendship with no strings attached. Just a pure heart.”

Boghosian, who played at Fresno High before going to UCLA, was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.