Cabell becomes first African-American head coach of Whitwell football

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WHITWELL, Tenn. (WDEF) — The ever-controversial football coaching search for the Tigers has finally be put to rest. Longtime coach and former Tigers assistant Jake Cabell will replace Travis Olinger. Cabell is the first African-American coach to ever lead the Whitwell Tigers.

Cabell was Whitwell’s defensive coordinator from 2013-15. He believes those teams built the foundations for the Tigers’ eventual undefeated state championship season in 2018.

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Now, the former Nebraska defensive back (1974-77) returns with the goal to create an aggressive, well-conditioned team.

Cabell says he’s in the process of evaluating Whitwell’s talent, and hopes make the Tigers stronger and quicker before the season starts this fall.



“My first time being at Whitwell, just the first time driving in and seeing the school community, I felt like this is where I needed to be,” Cabell said.

Cabell has also coached at Tennessee State, Nebraska and NC Central. Most recently, he was the girls basketball coach at Whites Creek High School in Whites Creek, Tennessee, and Renaissance High School in Franklin, Tennessee.