The Jets officially named Adam Gase their coach on Friday. His
introductory media conference will be held Monday afternoon.
The sides agreed Wednesday that Gase would take over a team that is desperate to end an eight-season playoff drought and develop Sam Darnold into a top-flight quarterback.
“We talked to a number of excellent candidates and it became clear to me that Adam was the person who will help us establish a winning program and a winning culture,” Jets chief executive officer Christopher Johnson said in a statement.
Gase, who climbed the ranks through his work with offenses and quarterbacks, spent the past three seasons as the Dolphins’ head coach. He was 23-25, including 5-1 against the Jets, and made the playoffs once.
Gase, 40, replaces Todd Bowles, who was 24-40 in four seasons as the Jets’ coach. Bowles was named the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator under mentor and friend Bruce Arians earlier this week.
Gase is the first head coach the Jets have hired with previous head-coaching experience since Bill Parcells in 1997. Johnson said Gase is “a young, creative mind” and called him an “innovator.”
Gase didn’t display the makings of an offensive genius in his years with Miami, though. The Dolphins finished 24th, 25th and 31st in total offense in his three seasons.
Injuries to quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the offensive line contributed to that, but Gase had control over that 53-man roster, which is not expected to be the case with the Jets. General manager Mike Maccagnan still is in charge of personnel, and before the search began, Johnson said that if a coach wanted control of the Jets’ roster, he wasn’t the right person for the job.
This was the first coaching search done by Johnson and Maccagnan, and the choice wasn’t popular with long-suffering fans.
Many of them wanted former Packers coach Mike McCarthy. He had the best resume of all the candidates the Jets interviewed. But they picked Gase, who came recommended by Peyton Manning, whom Gase worked with in Denver. Manning endorsed Gase in a conversation with Johnson on Wednesday.
“[Gase] has helped a number of different quarterbacks, at various stages of their careers, reach new heights,” Johnson said. “We think Sam will continue to develop under his tutelage, but we made the decision because of Adam’s vision for the entire football team.”
Not everyone has had a great relationship with Gase. He reportedly wasn’t popular in the Dolphins’ locker room. Gase is very intelligent but he also has been called arrogant and rubbed some players the wrong way.
Darnold, however, has expressed excitement about Gase, as did another important Jet.
“I’m so excited about the news of coach Gase coming to NYC!” Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams tweeted Friday. “Excited to have him lead us back to where we need to be. We got a long way to go, can’t wait to get to work!”
Gase comes from a coaching tree that includes Nick Saban, Steve Mariucci, Mike Martz, Josh McDaniels and John Fox.
He started out as an undergraduate assistant on Saban’s staff at Michigan State. Saban brought Gase to LSU, where he spent three years as a graduate assistant and recruiting assistant.
A Michigan native, Gase began his NFL career with the Lions in 2003. He was a recruiting assistant, offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach in five seasons with Detroit.
He spent one year as the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach before going to Denver. Gase was with the Broncos for six years, two each as wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. In his first season in the latter role, Manning threw an NFL-record 55 touchdown passes.
Gase then served as the Bears’ offensive coordinator for one season before joining the Dolphins.
“Adam is an experienced teacher who has a great passion for the game,” Maccagnan said. “His work with quarterbacks has been well-documented, but he is a good communicator who will build an excellent staff. He can’t wait to get started and I’m eager to work with him.”
The Jets conducted at least eight interviews for the job. The other candidates were Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Cowboys secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard, former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury and Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
Kingsbury was hired to be the Cardinals’ head coach a day after interviewing with the Jets. Rhule was high on the Jets’ list, but because he was coming from college, the Jets apparently wanted some say in whom he would hire as coordinators. That appears to have been a sticking point for Rhule.
“At the end of the day, I’m never going to be in an arranged marriage,” Rhule said on ESPN radio in Waco. “I’m never going to subcontract out jobs to the offense and defense. I always want to hire people that believe in what I believe in, that are going to do things our way.”
COLTS AT CHIEFS
Saturday, Ch. 4, 4:35 p.m.
COWBOYS AT RAMS
Saturday, Ch. 5, 8:15 p.m.
CHARGERS AT PATRIOTS
Sunday, Ch. 2, 1:05 p.m.
EAGLES AT SAINTS
Sunday, Ch. 5, 4:40 p.m.