NY Jets hire Robert Saleh’s ‘get-back coach’ from San Francisco

NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have dealt with some significant injury woes over the past few years. In an effort to correct those issues, the Jets have created a new department under head coach Robert Saleh.

Dubbed the Athletic Care and Performance department, the Jets have aligned the training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition staffs to oversee the team’s health regimen.

Dr. Brad DeWeese has been named the director of high performance and he will oversee the new strength and condition team headed by former San Francisco 49ers’ assistant Mike Nicolini.

Nicolini replaces the long-tenured Justus Galac as the team’s new head strength and conditioning coach. Galac had been with the organization since 2012 and became the head strength coach a year later.

His replacement, Nicolini, is someone who is very familiar with Saleh.

The NY Jets hired Robert Saleh’s “get-back coach” from San Francisco

Nicolini has spent the last three years with the 49ers’ organization working his way up to assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2019. The 31-year-old is a former college defensive back who played Division-III football at the University of the Redlands.

He spent seven years at San Jose State starting off as a volunteer and graduate assistant before working his way up to the role of lead athletic performance coach.

Nicolini joined the 49ers’ coaching staff in 2018 as an intern with the strength and conditioning department before being promoted to assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2019.

And it was in that role that he got very familiar with Saleh.

Nicolini was asked to perform a very specific task on gameday. He was entrusted with restraining the bombastic coach on the sideline to ensure that he didn’t receive a penalty.

Otherwise known as Saleh’s personal “get-back coach.”

He was even featured in a segment on “Good Morning Football” back in November of 2019 where Kyle Brandt and the entire GMFB crew highlighted Nicolini’s important role with the 49ers.

He is their silent guardian. Their watchful protector. @KyleBrandt hypes the @49ers secret weapon nobody’s talking about. pic.twitter.com/Yo1AAYuErn

— GMFB (@gmfb) November 26, 2019

It’s unclear if Nicolini will reprise his role as Saleh’s “get-back coach” in New York, especially given that he’ll likely have more responsibilities now. But if he doesn’t do it, someone will probably have to.

The fiery Saleh was quoted as saying that he “blacks out” in these moments. He’s passionate, fervent, and intense — and those are the qualities that have endeared him to many over the course of his career.

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Robert Saleh has brought over a number of coaches from his staff in San Francisco. But perhaps none will be more important than his own personal “get-back coach.”