Interesting article. The whole punching the assistant thing aside, which is is innocent until proven guilty(might be BS like Ben's lawsuit is, never know). Very respectable man just based off where he came from and where he's at. All be it the Raiders HC job aint the most secure job in the world. But its a huge improvement never-the-less...
Rookie coaches take center stage
Tom Cable: Hard work made the man, and defines his challenge
David White, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Tom Cable had all the makings of an NFL head coach from Season 1. He slept rent-free on beachfront property. Someone drove him to work every day. He never cooked his own meals. His closest friends were a future NFL coach and a few future NFL assistants.
It all sounds so privileged, only there was nothing about Cable's 1989 season - spent as a San Diego State graduate assistant coach - that was served with a silver spoon.
Cable was homeless. He had no car. He had little meal money. Twenty year's later, nothing from his early resume suggests he could become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
"That was about rock bottom," Cable said. "I didn't have a thing to my name. I was broke as can be. I'm telling you, that was tough. Tough, tough times."
No more. Cable has the second-grandest office space at Raiders headquarters. He drives a well-waxed Hummer, but only because he lets his wife drive the team-issued Mercedes Benz. He pays for group meals with $100 bills while pulling in seven figures.
But turn around the losingest NFL franchise of the past six seasons? Cable doesn't even flinch at the monumental task. After all, he was never supposed to get here from there.
"You bet I appreciate what I have here," Cable said. "It's a dream come true."
In 1989, Cable did all his dreaming from a sleeping bag on the Mission Beach shoreline. Today, it's a sandy stretch of resorts, nightlife and a roller coaster. Back then, it was one of the few public places where police didn't shoo away overnight crashers.
He tried living in the Aztecs' football office, but the head coach caught him and kicked him out. Fellow assistant coach Sean Payton had an apartment but, at $305 a month, Cable couldn't afford rent.
"As a graduate assistant, you're just hoping to make an impression so maybe one day someone will give you a chance," said Payton, now the head coach of the Saints. "You're not making any money, you're sharing office space and all that. The one thing about Tom is ... he's going to persevere."
There was always a 10-acre career waiting for him on the family farm in Snohomish, Wash., where Cable first learned the feeling of hard work.
He would get up before winter's sunrise to unfreeze the well pumps, scrape down the stalls and feed the chickens, all before heading off to school.
"I didn't want to go back to that," Cable said. "I couldn't. Coaching is all I ever wanted to do. I didn't know how I was going to make it, but I had to find a way. You do what you have to do.
"When you're living on a beach, you've got a lot of time to think about things ... time to find yourself out there, kind of figure things out."
Cable took an evening job selling Toyotas at a dealership. He added an overnight job stocking groceries at Vons. Coping with sleep deprivation was the worst part, Cable said, so he tried to nap on the city bus going from one job to the next.
Remember when Whopper meals were $2.99 at Burger King? Cable lived on those most every day. He showered in the team locker room. He borrowed here and made do there until Cal State-Fullerton gave him a salaried position the next year.
"Even then, when you kind of sensed it wasn't going to work for him, he found a way," Saints assistant coach Bret Ingalls said. He grew up with Cable in Snohomish and coached with him at San Diego State. Things were hard for Ingalls, too, so he became Cable's occasional roommate at Mission Beach.
"Not coming from maybe a spoon-fed background hasn't been a problem for him," Ingalls said. "He's a tough guy, so when times are tough like they were back then, it wasn't a problem. He always got through it.
"Now look at where he's at today."
As interim coach, Cable guided the Raiders through the post-Lane Kiffin trauma last season. As the head coach, he must make quarterback JaMarcus Russell great and the run defense better, beat the Chargers and - oh yeah - end a six-year run of 11 or more losses.
Sounds like a walk on the beach compared with the summer of '89.
"Everything I went through prepared me for this," Cable said. "This is everything I've worked for."