John Rauch, who succeeded Al Davis as Raiders coach more than four decades ago, died Tuesday at his home in Oldsmar, Fla. He was 80.

Rauch’s wife, Jane, told the Associated Press that her husband died in his sleep, possibly from a heart problem.

Rauch joined the Raiders as an assistant coach in 1963, the year Davis became head coach and general manager. He took over for Davis in the 1966 season, when Davis became commissioner of the American Football League, and, in his second season, Rauch guided the Raiders to the first of their five Super Bowl appearances. The Raiders lost to the Green Bay Packers 33-14 in Miami.

“Our hearts go out to his family, who we knew well,” the Raiders said in a prepared statement. “John Rauch gave us several great years as an assistant and head coach for the Oakland Raiders, and he took us to our first Super Bowl in 1967.

“They were memorable years for the Raiders and they will never be forgotten, and they should not be forgotten.”

Rauch coached the Raiders to a 33-8-1 regular-season record over three years. He left in 1969 to coach the Buffalo Bills and was replaced by John Madden.

“Any time you follow Mr. Davis as head coach, everybody will have all eyes on you watching what you can do,” Raiders defensive-backs coach Willie Brown told the AP. Brown played for Rauch in 1967-68 at the beginning of a Pro Football Hall of Fame career.

“John did quite well, no question about it,” Brown said. “He had learned from Mr. Davis the necessary things to be a coach. Mr. Davis was pleased with it, I was pleased with it. He took us to the Super Bowl. All the players loved him. We all stood behind him and played hard for him.”

Rauch’s win-loss percentage of .805 is the best in franchise history.

Rauch coached the Bills for two seasons, compiling a 7-20-1 record, and also worked as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.