The Raiders hired Craig Dickenson to replace Aaron Pelch as the assistant special teams coordinator. He will work under special teams coordinator John Fassel.
The Raiders have not announced the hiring, and Dickenson is not listed on the coaching roster on the team’s website. However, Dickenson said in an interview with the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune that he was hired in April.
It doesn’t make sense why the Raiders wouldn’t announce Dickenson’s hiring. Then again, this isn’t the first time they have ignored protocol and waited for the news to leak out through unconventional terms.
Dickenson spent the past eight years working with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. He intended to take this year off. However, that changed once he received a call from Fassel in March.
“I had met John two years ago at the Senior Bowl in Alabama, and we stayed in touch a little bit,” Dickenson said in the interview with the Great Falls Tribune. “We’re kind of similar in our interests. He’s an outdoorsy guy who likes to bike and run triathlons. I like that stuff, too. He called me in late March and said they were going to hire a second special-teams coach. I interviewed with him and got the job in April.”
Dickenson, 38, also has coached with the San Diego Chargers and several other colleges.
“I never expected to be back in the NFL this soon,” Dickenson said. “In fact, I planned to take a year away from coaching and reconnect with family and friends. My dad just turned 70 and I wanted to hang out with him.”
Dickenson is a rarity in that he was hired by Raiders coach Tom Cable despite not having previous ties with the third-year coach.
“I’ve got to hand it to John Fassel and Cable for thinking outside the box. Not many guys would hire a guy they never worked with before,” Dickenson said. “It’s a small world, this coaching. This opportunity to coach in the NFL was probably too good to pass up.”