Art Shell

Art Shell
Shell in 2006
No. 78
Position: Tackle
Personal information
Born: (1946-11-26) November 26, 1946
Charleston, South Carolina
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school: North Charleston (SC) Bonds-Wilson
College: Maryland State
NFL Draft: 1968 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 207
Games started: 169
Coaching record: 56–52
Player stats at
Coaching stats at PFR

Arthur Lee Shell Jr.[1][2] (born November 26, 1946) is an American former collegiate and professional football player in the American Football League and later in the National Football League, a Hall of Fame offensive tackle, and a two-time former head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He holds the distinction of becoming the second African-American head coach in the history of professional football, and the first in the sport's modern era. Shell was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

Playing career

Shell was drafted by the American Football League's Oakland Raiders from Maryland State College. Playing offensive tackle, Shell participated in 24 playoff contests, including Super Bowls XI and XV, and was named to eight Pro Bowls.

Shell was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1999, he was ranked number 55 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Coaching career

Los Angeles Raiders

Through Al Davis, Shell is a member of the Sid Gillman coaching tree. As coach of the Raiders (at the time located in Los Angeles), Shell compiled a record of 54 wins, 38 losses, and was named AFC Coach of the Year in 1990, when the Raiders won the AFC West division with a 12-4 record, and advanced to the AFC championship game in the playoffs, becoming the first African-American coach to lead the team to the Conference Championship game. Al Davis, owner of the Raiders, fired Shell after a 9-7 season in 1994, a move Davis later called "a mistake".

After the Raiders

After leaving the Raiders, Shell went on to coaching positions with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, before serving as a senior vice president for the NFL, in charge of football operations.

2006 return to Raiders

Shell was officially re-hired by the Raiders as head coach on February 11, 2006. After leading the team to its worst record (2 wins, 14 losses) since 1963, despite having one of the best defenses, Shell was fired for the second time as head coach of the Raiders on January 4, 2007.[3]

Coaching tree

Shell has worked under four NFL head coaches:

Five of Shell's assistant coaches have become NFL head coaches:

  • Mike White, Oakland Raiders (1995–1996)
  • Gunther Cunningham, Kansas City Chiefs, (1999–2000)
  • Jim Haslett, New Orleans Saints (2000–2005), St. Louis Rams (2008)
  • John Fox, Carolina Panthers (2002–2010), Denver Broncos (2011–2014), Chicago Bears (2015-2017)
  • Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (2012–2017)

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
RAI1989 750.5833rd in AFC West
RAI1990 1240.7501st in AFC West11.500Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Championship Game
RAI1991 970.5633rd in AFC West01.000Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Wild-Card Game
RAI1992 790.4384th in AFC West
RAI1993 1060.6252nd in AFC West11.500Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Divisional Game
RAI1994 970.5633rd in AFC West
OAK2006 2140.1254th in AFC West

Personal life

Shell attended Bonds-Wilson High School in North Charleston, South Carolina. The school is no longer in existence. Shell is an alumnus of Maryland State College, now known as The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, located in Princess Anne, Maryland. Shell is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 2013, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He hosts an annual celebrity golf tournament.

Art Shell is the great uncle of Brandon Shell who was a highly touted recruit out of high school who played offensive lineman for the South Carolina Gamecocks football team and was drafted in 2016 by the New York Jets.[5]

See also


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