San Francisco 49ers assistant Robert Saleh has reached an agreement with the New York Jets, joining them as their new head coach, succeeding Adam Gase.
The ongoing NFL season has been utterly disappointing for the New York Jets. After a record of 9 wins to 23 losses in the last two seasons, including a horrendous 2-14 in this one, Jets decided to fire Adam Gase on 3rd January.
After almost two weeks seeking a leader, Jets have finally found the right person to take charge to restore the team’s performance, as the roped in 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on Thursday night.
The Jets have agreed in principle for Robert Saleh, the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator for the past four seasons, to become their head coach,” an official statement read on the official website of the Jets, “Saleh will become the Jets’ 20th head coach in franchise history and their 18th coach appointed to take Green & White reins before the start of a new season.”
Robert Saleh becomes the first Muslim head coach of an NFL team
Saleh, who has formerly worked with Seahawks as well as Jaguars and spent four years with the 49ers, makes history as the first Muslim head coach in the history of the league.
Following an in-person interview on Tuesday and an extended talk the next day, Saleh was elected over either other candidates Jets had shortlisted as their new head coach.
The interview was conducted by Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, president Hymie Elhai and general manager Joe Douglas at the team facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Although 49ers failed to make the cut to the playoffs, under Saleh they ranked fifth in overall defense this season, making him a coveted candidate among the teams who were in search of a new leader.
Born to parents of Lebanese descent, Saleh attended Northern Michigan University, where he played as a tight end throughout the four years and clinched all conference honors.
Alongside Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars have also appointed a new head coach, picking broadcaster and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer as their leader.