KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Jim Mora will succeed Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, beginning with the 2009 season.
After serving as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for one more season, the 46-year-old Mora will begin a new, four-year contract as the head coach.
Seahawks president Tim Ruskell and chief executive officer Tod Leiweke both emphasized during a news conference Wednesday that the move gives the team stability and unity.
"What (Holmgren's) done here, by announcing his retirement a year ahead of time, has afforded this organization to make a smooth transition, to be seamless, to be non-chaotic," Ruskell said. "Which is kind of rare in the sports world -- certainly in the NFL.
"We all know about the elongated processes and the back-stabbing, some of the ugly things that can go on. Well, we're not going to have that."
Holmgren pushed for the announcement now, so players who are poised to enter free agency next month can judge Seattle while knowing who its coach will be beyond next season.
"This makes a lot of sense for the organization," Holmgren said in a team statement. "Jim is a talented coach who already had a measure of success in this league and has all the tools here needed to succeed."
Both Holmgren and Mora chose not to attend the news conference because Ruskell said they didn't want to "make a big splash" and overlook the team's mission for 2008: sending Holmgren out with the franchise's first Super Bowl title, after five consecutive playoff appearances.
"I am extremely excited about the future, but completely focused on the opportunity we have in front of us this season," Mora said in the statement.
"I would like to thank Mike Holmgren, who has helped me immensely this past season, and from whom I have learned a great deal."
The 59-year-old Holmgren announced two weeks ago that he would fulfill only the final season of his contract in 2008 and then leave the team after 10 seasons. He is the team's all-time leader in coaching victories with 86. He has 170 in wins 16 seasons with Green Bay and Seattle, one behind former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs for 10th in NFL history.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press