The New York Jets today introduced Herman Edwards as the 13th full-time head coach in franchise history.
Team owner Woody Johnson and new general manager Terry Bradway made the official announcement at a news conference today.
"He's the best man to lead the Jets on the path to the world championship," Bradway said of Edwards, formerly the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"More than being an outstanding coach, he's an outstanding person and has great respect not only for the game but for the details. His experience as a player, personnel evaluator, assistant coach and assistant head coach has prepared him for the challenge that lies ahead."
Edwards, 46, replaces Al Groh, who resigned 19 days ago to take the head coaching job at the University of Virginia, and nine days after former Jets coach Bill Parcells resigned as director of football operations. Bradway replaced Parcells last week.
Edwards Will Try to Revive Team
With the hiring, Edwards becomes the third black coach in the NFL after Minnesota's Dennis Green and Tampa Bay's Tony Dungy. Edwards is the second black head coach in the past 42 hirings in the NFL.
Considered a bright young coaching mind, Edwards beat out a short list of three other candidates for the position: Jets assistant head coach and running backs coach Maurice Carthon, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Dom Capers, and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.
Edwards takes over a team that skidded in the second half of the season, losing three straight games to finish a disappointing 9-7. The Jets have failed to make the playoffs for two straight seasons since coming one game away from making the Super Bowl after the 1998 season under Parcells. The Jets lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game 23-10.
Edwards and Bradway have a relationship that goes back to when they were both with the Kansas City Chiefs organization in the early 1990s. Edwards was a scout and secondary coach for the Chiefs from 1990-95. A former 10-year NFL defensive back, Edwards spent five seasons with the Buccaneers as an assistant head coach and secondary coach.
"Herman Edwards has successfully overcome every challenge he has ever faced, and I don't think this one will be any different," Bucs general manager Rich McKay said. "The Jets are very fortunate to be getting such a quality guy."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.