HEMPSTEAD, New York (Jan. 17, 2006) -- New England Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was hired as New York Jets coach, becoming the youngest head coach in the NFL.
Mangini, a disciple of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, turns 35 on Thursday. He replaces Herman Edwards, who left for Kansas City after five seasons.
Mangini accepted an offer from the Jets on Monday, a few hours after the team interviewed former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice. But the deal wasn't completed until Tuesday. Terms of the deal weren't known but it is believed he will get between $2 million and $2.5 million per year over five years.
He emerged as the leading candidate for the Jets last week. Though he is young and has been a coordinator for one season, he is regarded as one of the brightest defensive minds in the game after spending 10 of his 11 seasons in the NFL working under Belichick.
The Jets hope some of the Belichick genius rubbed off on his protege.
"He definitely has the ability to be a great coach in this league," Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour said after New England was eliminated from the playoffs. "He has a lot of tools that it takes. He's very poised. He's a smart guy. He understands defenses and how to take things away from offenses, so he'll probably have a lot of success in this league."
Mangini also has close ties to Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum and was an assistant with the Jets from 1997-99, working with Belichick in the secondary. Belichick has talked Mangini out of taking coordinator jobs in the past, but was unable to do the same this time.