By Dennis O'Donnell

(KPIX) — Robert Saleh wasn’t supposed to be trolling the 49ers sidelines. Or, perhaps he was destined for this all along.

Seventeen years ago with his football career in his rear view mirror, Saleh began his journey into the corporate world, wearing a two-piece suit with a nice paycheck selling loans. But somewhere underneath the Wall Street façade was a burning passion for something else.

On September 11, 2001 Robert’s brother was in the second tower. Twenty minutes went by before the family learned that he had survived. For Robert, it was an epiphany. He quit his job and headed off into coaching football. Gone was the secure paycheck, the suits, and the stability of corporate life.

For years, Robert toiled in low-paying jobs, traversing from town to town as he slowly climbed the football ladder. His relationship with Kyle Shanahan would pay off big time when two candidates turned down the 49ers defensive coordinator position.

Robert Saleh’s story is one of a life-changing experience, perseverance, and timing. Something, perhaps, we can all take a page out of.

  1. Mike Bowles says:

    A great coach, a leader. Players throughout his coaching career played hard for Coach Saleh. Now we need an Edge Rusher.