Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Updated: February 4, 8:54 AM ET
Raiders retain Cable as head coach

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders retained head coach Tom Cable on Tuesday, officially removing the interim designation from his title more than five weeks after their season ended.

Cable went 4-8 after replacing Lane Kiffin with the Raiders (5-11), who have lost at least 11 games in six consecutive years. Cable, Kiffin's former offensive line coach, rallied Oakland to back-to-back victories to end last season.

Raiders owner Al Davis interviewed a handful of candidates for the job, but never seemed seriously inclined to replace Cable, valuing his organizational loyalty and leadership. Davis spoke to New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and Green Bay assistant head coach Winston Moss before sticking with Cable, the former Idaho head coach who joined the Raiders in 2007.

Cable's hiring, to be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, will bring some stability to a coaching staff that's already undergoing wholesale changes even with Cable staying in charge. Cable, who represented Oakland at the Senior Bowl in Alabama last month, has argued that keeping him would bring stability to a club already on its fifth head coach since 2003.

But several key assistant coaches who finished the season under Cable's leadership already have left the Raiders for new jobs, including defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (Cleveland), offensive coordinator Greg Knapp (Seattle), special teams coordinator Brian Schneider (Southern California), running backs coach Tom Rathman (San Francisco) and linebackers coach Don Martindale (Denver).
Cable is Raiders' coach

NFL.com Video

Tom Cable becomes the Raiders' head coach after serving as the interim coach last season.

While waiting to announce Cable's hiring, Davis filled several positions on the Raiders' new staff, hiring a few new assistants and retaining several others. Oakland notably picked veteran offensive coach Paul Hackett to be JaMarcus Russell's quarterbacks coach.

With a head coach finally in place, the Raiders can get to work hiring coordinators. They're also deep in preparations for the draft, in which they have the seventh overall pick.

Cable went 11-35 in four seasons in charge at Idaho from 2000-03 in his only previous experience as a head coach before Davis promoted him to replace Kiffin, who was fired Sept. 30 after a series of embarrassing public disagreements with Davis. Cable spent 2006 as Atlanta's offensive line coach following two years as UCLA's offensive coordinator.

The Raiders responded favorably to Cable over the final 12 games of the regular season, pulling together for back-to-back wins over Houston and Tampa Bay to close another dismal year on a high note. Although 5-11 isn't much, Oakland finished with its best record since 2004, when Norv Turner led the Raiders to the same mark.

Cable follows Bill Callahan (2002-03), Turner (2004-05), Art Shell (2006) and Kiffin (2007-08) in charge of the Raiders, who haven't had a winning season since Callahan led Oakland to the Super Bowl in his first season after replacing Jon Gruden.