ALAMEDA, California (AP) — The Oakland Raiders promoted offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to head coach after he helped the NFL team more than double its scoring output in his first year.
Jackson will be formally introduced at a news conference on Tuesday — two weeks after the Raiders announced they were not picking up an option to keep coach Tom Cable.
“The fire in Hue will set a flame that will burn for a long time in the hearts and minds of the Raider football team and the Raider Nation,” owner Al Davis said in a statement on Monday.
Jackson was widely considered the leading contender to get the job as soon as the Raiders announced Cable’s departure. This is Jackson’s first head coaching job at any level.
WATCH NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF JACKSON’S PROMOTION:
[NBCVIDEO source=”SPORTS” video=”http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/33399756″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”41137909″ id=”msnbc212674″]
Jackson was hired a year ago to take over the play-calling duties from Cable and oversaw a transformation on offense. Oakland scored more than twice as many points in 2010 as it did in ‘09 — and the Raiders won eight games and avoided an eighth straight losing season.
“I’m excited about Hue getting the head coaching job,” Raiders tight end Zach Miller said in a phone interview. “I really like the direction our offense is going and how much we improved. This was the best offensive year we’ve had since I’ve been a Raider. I’m excited to have the continuity.”
Jackson was popular with players on both sides of the ball in Oakland, with the defenders enjoying the competitive nature he brought to practice each day. Linebacker Quentin Groves wrote on his Twitter feed, “Congrats to Hue Jackson … This is gonna be a great ride!!!”
Led by quarterback Jason Campbell, a breakout season from running back Darren McFadden and big plays from rookie receiver Jacoby Ford, the Raiders finished sixth in the league in scoring with 410 points.
The Raiders won all six of their AFC West division games, but only two of their other 10 games. They became the first team since the 1970 merger to have a perfect record in a division and not make the playoffs.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.