Shell to return to Raiders as head coach
After considering outsiders such as Ken Whisenhunt, Bobby Petrino and Mike Martz, the Raiders went with one of their own and hired Art Shell as their new coach.
Shell will be introduced at 4:30 p.m ET Saturday as the Raiders' new coach. He replaces Norv Turner, who was fired after two seasons and went to the 49ers as offensive coordinator.
In hiring Shell, Raiders boss Al Davis was able to correct a move he said was a mistake more than a decade ago. Davis fired Shell after the 1994 season. Shell, who was 56-41 as the Raiders head coach from 1989 to 1994, will get a chance to right that wrong.
Shell was working for the NFL when he was called by Davis last week to interview for the job. Shell flew to Oakland and interviewed last Thursday. Once Whisenhunt, the Steelers offensive coordinator, decided to stay with the Steelers and informed the Raiders of his intentions Thursday, Davis put in a call to Shell.
Shell, who was in Tampa, Fla., working for the league, got on a flight as soon as possible and made it to the Raiders' offices Friday.
After meeting with Davis most of Friday afternoon, he was offered the job and his agent worked out the contract Friday evening.
Shell, the first black head coach in modern NFL history, becomes the seventh one currently in the league. Of the 10 openings this offseason, the only other black coach hired was Herman Edwards, who was traded from the New York Jets to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Shell had been working as the senior vice president of football operations and development for the NFL.
Oakland has been without a coach since Turner was fired Jan. 3, giving Shell little time to put together a staff and set his offseason priorities before the scouting combine begins Feb. 22.
Davis also interviewed Al Saunders, James Lofton and Rod Marinelli, and he had talks with former St. Louis coach Mike Martz, Oakland quarterbacks coach John Shoop and University of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.
Saunders decided to take a job running Washington's offense, Marinelli was hired as Detroit's coach, Martz will be the Lions' offensive coordinator next season, and Petrino said he wants to stay at Louisville.
Shell made eight Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls as a standout offensive lineman in a 15-year career with the Raiders that led to his induction into the Hall of Fame. He replaced the fired Mike Shanahan during the 1989 season and lasted through 1994, the team's final season in Los Angeles.
Other than Jon Gruden, Shell was the last head coach of the Raiders to have a winning record during his tenure in Oakland. Mike White, Joe Bugel, Bill Callahan and Turner followed Shell and failed to produce a winning record with the Raiders.
In the end, Davis kept it in the family and hired Shell.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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