The New Orleans Saints have secured the services of head coach Jim Haslett through the 2006 season. Haslett signed a four-year contract extension, one that allows for the opportunity to extend beyond 2006 and run through the 2010 season, based on performance of the team.
The additional extension will be automatically triggered each year by the Saints winning the NFC South Division title. It was also announced that contract extensions have been offered to all assistant coaches.
Haslett, voted NFL coach of the Year in 2000, already ranks second among the team's 13 head coaches with a winning percentage of .531.
Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said, "This is a long-term commitment by the Saints to Jim Haslett, who we believe is one of the most talented and dedicated coaches in the NFL. This solidifies the stability of the franchise. From a negotiations standpoint, Mr. Benson deserves all the credit for stepping up and making this happen. His dedication to getting this deal finished before the season started made this an easy process for Jim and I to complete."
Saints owner Tom Benson said, "Jim has proven over the last two years that he has everything NFL teams are looking for in a head coach. Stability is hard to come by in this league, and in Jim we have a good, young coach who is dedicated to winning for the fans of the Saints and the city of New Orleans. That's why we put so much effort into getting this deal finished now. This allows him to concentrate on the upcoming season without and distractions surrounding his contract situation."
Over the past two seasons, the Saints' defense has posted an NFL high 119 sacks, the top total in club history over a two-year span. New Orleans has also ranked 10th in the league in offense in 2000-2001, marking only the fourth and fifth times in team history that the Saints closed a year ranked among the NFL's top ten on offense.
Haslett has guided New Orleans to an 11-5 record on the road since becoming head coach. He's 17 and 15 in regular season play, one and one in the playoffs.