Robert Saleh
Saleh with the San Francisco 49ers in 2019
New York Jets
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1979-01-31) January 31, 1979 (age 42)
Dearborn, Michigan
Career information
High school:Fordson
(Dearborn, Michigan)
College:Northern Michigan
Career history
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:0–2 (.000)
Coaching stats at PFR

Robert Saleh (born January 31, 1979) is an American football coach who is the head coach for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He began his career as a defensive assistant, holding his first defensive coordinator position with the San Francisco 49ers from 2017 to 2020. Following the 2020 season, he left the 49ers to become the Jets' head coach.

Early years

Saleh was born in Dearborn, Michigan and is a 1997 graduate of Fordson High School. He is of Lebanese descent.[1][2] He attended Northern Michigan University from 1998 to 2002, where he earned a degree in finance and was a four-year starter for the Northern Michigan Wildcats football team, earning all-conference honors as a tight end.[1][3]

Coaching career

College

Saleh began his coaching career at the collegiate level in 2002. He spent four years working as a defensive assistant with Michigan State University (2002–03), Central Michigan University (2004)[3] and the University of Georgia (2005).[1]

Houston Texans

In 2005, Saleh was hired as an intern with the Houston Texans, working with the defensive unit.[4] In February 2006, he was retained in Gary Kubiak's staff as a defensive quality control coach under defensive coordinator Richard Smith.[4][5][6] In January 2009, he was promoted to assistant linebackers coach.[7][8]

Seattle Seahawks

In February 2011, Saleh was hired as the defensive quality control coach for the Seattle Seahawks under Pete Carroll.[9] He spent three seasons with the Seahawks, including their 2013 championship season when they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.[2] During this span the defense was known as the Legion of Boom.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Following the Seahawks' 2013 championship, Saleh was named linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars under head coach Gus Bradley.[1][10]

San Francisco 49ers

On February 13, 2017, Saleh was named defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers under head coach Kyle Shanahan.[11]

During the 2019 season, the 49ers defense was sixth in the league in forced turnovers (27), second in total defense (281.8 yards per game), first in passing defense (169.2 yards per game), and fourth in sacks (48). This was the first time since 2003 that the 49ers finished in the top 10 in both scoring and yards per game.[12] Saleh helped lead the team to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl LIV berth, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

New York Jets

On January 14, 2021, Saleh signed a five-year contract to become the head coach of the New York Jets.[13]

On September 12, 2021, Saleh lost in his head coaching debut against the Carolina Panthers by a score of 14–19.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYJ 2021 0 2 0 .000
Total 0 2 0 .000 0 0 .000

Personal life

Saleh and his wife, Sanaa, have four sons and two daughters.[10][14] He is the first Muslim head coach in NFL history upon his hiring by the Jets. [15][16] He is also the third Arab American head coach of the NFL after Abe Gibron (Chicago Bears 1972–1974) and Ritch Kotite (New York Jets 1995–1996), both of Lebanese descent as well.[17] Saleh was the best man at Green Bay Packers' head coach Matt LaFleur's wedding, as the two became close while working as graduate assistants at Central Michigan.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Robert Saleh". Jacksonville Jaguars. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Slezak, Joe (February 12, 2014). "Dearborn honors Seahawks Super Bowl champion coach Robert Saleh". The Oakland Press.
  3. ^ a b "Kelly Completes Coaching Staff". Scout.com. January 23, 2004. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Texans add four coaches to staff". USA Today. February 2, 2006.
  5. ^ McClain, John (February 9, 2006). "Texans to keep Carr through 2008 season". Houston Chronicle.
  6. ^ McClain, John (February 3, 2006). "Kubiak adds 3 assistants to Texans' coaching staff". Houston Chronicle.
  7. ^ "Transactions". Times-Union. Warsaw, Indiana. January 29, 2009. p. 12.
  8. ^ McClain, John (January 29, 2009). "Texans re-sign Gibbs, promote four coaches". Houston Chronicle.
  9. ^ O'Neill, Danny (February 25, 2011). "Seahawks hire Carl Smith as quarterbacks coach". Seattle Times.
  10. ^ a b O'Halloran, Ryan (February 15, 2014). "Jaguars Insider: New LB coach Robert Saleh eager to work with Paul Posluszny". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on December 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Sessler, Marc (February 17, 2017). "Robert Saleh hired as 49ers' defensive coordinator". Around the NFL. National Football League. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  12. ^ Branch, Eric. "Now hear this: 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo is at his best when noise is deafening". sfchronicle.com. sfchronicle. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  13. ^ Lange, Randy (January 14, 2020). "Jets Reach Agreement in Principle with Robert Saleh to Become Head Coach deal". www.newyorkjets.com. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  14. ^ Klemko, Robert (June 6, 2017). "Robert Saleh: The Road from 9/11 to the 49ers". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  15. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/01/31/robert-salehs-rise-super-bowl-began-muslim-community-where-football-is-king/
  16. ^ Li, David K. "Jets make history, hiring Robert Saleh to become NFL's first Muslim head coach". NBC News. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "ADC Congratulates Robert Saleh, New Head Coach of the NY Jets". ADC. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  18. ^ [1]