Despite a number of significant injuries last season, San Francisco checked in as a top-10 defense in total yards (fifth), rush yards (seventh) and pass yards (fourth).
Similar rankings occurred in Saleh’s previous pro stops in the previous 16 seasons. At Jacksonville from 2014-16 he was the Jaguars’ linebackers coach, and the team improved to sixth overall and fifth vs. the pass in his final season with the Jags. From 2011-13 he was Seattle’s defensive quality control coach focusing on LBs and the Seahawks defense rose to No. 1 in the league overall, vs. the pass and in scoring in his last year in the Great Northwest in 2013.
He held three different titles in six seasons with Houston from 2005-10 and the Texans moved into the top half of the league in many defensive categories in 2009, his first of two seasons as assistant linebackers coach.
Along the way, Saleh had a hand in the rising careers of players such as linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing in Houston, LBs K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith with Seattle, Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith in Jacksonville, and D-linemen Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner in San Francisco.
Saleh grew up in Dearborn, MI and started at TE for four seasons at Northern Michigan University. Before entering the pro coaching ranks, Saleh extended his Michigan roots with two seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State and one at Central Michigan before a brief stop at the University of Georgia in 2005 before heading to Houston.
Saleh’s parents are Lebanese and he is Muslim and speaks Arabic. He and his wife, Sanaa, have four sons and two daughters.
« Throughout the interview process, it became clear that this is the right place to call home, » Saleh said. « The passion Christopher, Joe and Hymie 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. »