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New York Jets officially announce Robert Saleh hire; press conference set

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 24: San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh during the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Santa Clara, CA.
(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Jets officially announced the Robert Saleh hire Tuesday afternoon, as well as the introductory press conference details.

It’s official: The New York Jets have hired Robert Saleh to be the team’s head coach. Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas and the new head coach all released statements on the matter early Tuesday afternoon.

A happy Saleh draped in Gotham Green can be seen on the team’s official Twitter account.

Saleh, 41, becomes the franchise’s 20th head coach and 18th new head man named prior to a new season. The now-former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator interviewed with the Jets in-person early last week. He ultimately left to interview with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers but returned to get the deal done shortly after.

Full official statements

Johnson’s statement is highlighted by an aching excitement over the team’s immediate future:

“I am excited to announce Robert Saleh as the Head Coach of the New York Jets,” Johnson said in an official team statement. “After a thorough process and meeting with a number of talented coaches, it was clear to us that Robert was the right person to help us move forward. He is a collaborative leader with proven success in the NFL. In addition to his work as a coach on this level, his passion and knowledge of the game along with his vision for establishing an identity for this team sold me. It was also clear that he will partner with Joe to help foster and develop the winning culture we are striving to establish. For us as a group, we were impressed with the way he commanded the space and his ability to communicate his vision throughout the process.

I know he will develop the players on our roster, hold them accountable, and put them in a position to succeed. Most importantly, I believe they will connect with him. We all know there is a lot of work to get done but we have a tremendous opportunity to improve and are thrilled to have Coach Saleh lead this team going forward.”

Douglas, who had no prior relationship with Saleh before the interview process commenced, spoke on his new head coach’s attributes as it relates to what the organization is looking for in a leader:

“Coach Saleh is an exceptional teacher, motivator and communicator,” Douglas’ statement read. “He has earned every opportunity he has gotten and made the most of each of them. We spoke to some tremendous coaches, but Rob is the right partner and leader for us. His vision for this team aligns with what we have been working to establish here the last two years. Coach Saleh’s energy, knowledge and focus are contagious and will serve our team well as we continue to develop our culture, our foundation, and move this organization in the right direction. I am excited to work closely with him to build this team into the winner that our fans deserve and will be proud of.”

New York Jets, Jets X-Factor

Saleh, himself, provided his first words directed towards Jets fans:

“It’s an honor to be the head coach of the New York Jets,” Saleh said in his official statement. “To Christopher Johnson, thank you for this opportunity, it is one I’ve worked extremely hard for and will give everything I have to it. Throughout the interview process, it became clear that this is the right place to call home. The passion Christopher, Joe [Douglas] and Hymie [Elhai] have for this team is evident and I look forward to partnering with them to bring us where we want to be.

You never travel these roads alone and there are so many that have helped along the way, but without my wife, Sanaa, this journey would have been impossible. Thank you for everything. We have six amazing children, with one on the way, and now we are all proud to be part of Jets Nation.

There are no shortcuts to success, and I am committed to working with Joe to build this team the right way: with talented players that play fast and smart, and a staff that supports and helps develop them through it all.

To Jets Fans, your passion and commitment are priceless. I understand your expectations and embrace them. We have a lot of work to do and can’t do it without your support. Thank you for your warm welcome and please stay safe and healthy.”

Introductory press conference details

The introductory press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at 2 p.m. ET. It will be conducted through Zoom.

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