Art Shell, who spent his entire 27-year NFL career with the Raiders, was fired Thursday by the man who made him the first black head coach in the modern NFL.
Shell, a Hall of Fame tackle, was fired by owner Al Davis and replaced by assistant Mike White.
"He was one of the great contributors we have ever had," Davis said.
Davis said he wants a Super Bowl title and needs a new coach to get there.
"I'm not the coach here, I don't want to be," Davis said when asked about his hands-on approach. "I'm the owner of the team, it's my team.
"I go to practice twice a week. I might yell something occasionally in practice. During a game, I might make one or two suggestions through a courier. Philosophy-wise, there's no question I like to throw the ball downfield."
And that's fine with White.
"He is going to be involved," White said of Davis. "He might even give me a pretty good tongue-lashing if he wants something changed. We're going to use the Raider philosophy, which is to throw the ball deep. That philosophy will be there."
The dismissal of Shell, coach since 1989, was all but assured when the Raiders went 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs after being dubbed preseason favorites to win the AFC.
Shell played for the Raiders in Oakland and Los Angeles from 1968-82 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989. He became an assistant coach with the team in 1983.
Shell's overall record with the Raiders, counting playoff games, was 56-41. They made the playoffs in three of his five full seasons.
"We want to win the Super Bowl," said Davis, whose Raiders were the most recent AFC team to accomplish the feat--in 1984. "I felt if we were going to get there, we would have to change the environment. I offered this job to no one else.
"I've known about Mike White for 40 years. I watched him grow, become an assistant coach. His history, his records, are tremendously unique. I think he comes extremely qualified, he has a vibrant personality."
Davis wouldn't divulge terms of White's contract, saying only, "It's not for one year and not for five."
Davis said he told Shell of the change Wednesday night.
"We spent an hour, two hours, reminiscing," Davis said. "Art is a part of my life. He's going to do well, he's going to be OK."
Shell spoke briefly before leaving the Raiders' headquarters more than an hour before the news conference.
"I'm going to look for another job," he said. "I want to stay in coaching."
It's been reported Shell might hook on with the Miami Dolphins as offensive line coach.
White takes over a team that has won only two playoff games since its third Super Bowl victory 11 years ago.
"This is a challenge, believe me," he said. "I've prepared for this all my life. I think if I have a skill, it's administratively. I intend to inventory the past.
"I've been in these kind of job situations before. It's obvious that Al Davis expects and demands success. We feel equal to that task. The most important thing is I feel prepared, I'm very grateful for this opportunity."
White joined the Raiders as an assistant in 1990 to work with quarterback Jay Schroeder. He was reassigned to coach the offensive line in 1993.
White also was an assistant for Bill Walsh at Stanford and California and with the 49ers, and was head coach at Cal, his alma mater, for five years and at Illinois for eight years.
Shell was the seventh NFL coach fired during or after the season. The others were Rich Kotite (Philadelphia), Jack Pardee (Houston), Wade Phillips (Denver), Chuck Knox (Rams), Pete Carroll (New York Jets) and Tom Flores (Seattle).
White said offensive assistants Joe Bugel, Bill Meyers, Fred Biletnikoff, Tom Walsh and Jack Reilly, and defensive coach John Fox have been retained.
White said he hopes to decide upon offensive and defensive coordinators within the next few weeks. Walsh served as offensive coordinator and Fox as defensive coordinator last season.