Gates has agreed in principle that Robert Saleh, the defense coordinator for the San Francisco 49s for the past four seasons, will become their head coach.
Saleh will become Gates’ 20th coach in franchise history and appoint his 18th coach to take over Green and White before the start of a new season.
Under Saleh’s direction in 2020, San Francisco had the top 10 defense in gross yardage (fifth), dash yards (seventh) and yardstick passing (fourth). At 19, San Franz ranked second overall in the league in total defense – with 281.8 yards / game allowed by the team since 1997 – and first in passing defense – with 169.2 yards / game permitted as the best player in since the Football Association allowed The American since Ryan Ryan and Gates defended at 153.7 yards / game in 2009. After training the 49ers Unit, Saleh was awarded the Coordinator of the Year award in Sports News.
Similar rankings have occurred in Saleh’s previous professional hiatuses in the previous 16 seasons. At Jacksonville from 2014-16 he coached the Jaguars full back, and the team improved to sixth overall and fifth for a pass in its final season with the Jags. From 2011-13 he was a Defensive Quality Control Coach in Seattle focusing on LBs and elevated the Seahawks’ defense to first place in the league overall, versus pass and in scoring in his last year at Great Northwest in 2013.
Saleh won three different titles in six seasons with Houston from 2005 to 2010 and moved Texas to the first half of the league in several defensive categories in 2009, his first two seasons as an assistant coach of full-back.
Saleh, a resident of Michigan, grew up in Dearborn and started a four-season TE at Northern Michigan University. Before entering the ranks of professional training, Saleh extended his roots in Michigan with two seasons as an assistant coach in Michigan and one in Central Michigan before a short stopover at the University of Georgia in 2005 before heading to Houston.