Mike Westhoff re-ups Jets deal

Updated: August 9, 2010, 2:44 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Mike Westhoff, the highly regarded special teams coordinator of the New York Jets, received a one-year contract extension through 2011.

He signed the deal on Saturday, a source told ESPNNewYork.com on Sunday.

Barring a change of heart, Westhoff's plan is to retire after the 2011 season, he said on Monday. He is 62 and has endured at least nine operations on his left leg to combat bone cancer.

Westhoff, hired by the Jets in 2001, stepped down for health-related reasons after the 2007 season. In February 2008, he underwent a 10-hour femur replacement at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He figured his coaching career was over, but he recovered so quickly that he returned to the Jets before the start of the 2008 regular season.

For much of his tenure with the Jets, the popular Westhoff has used a metal cane on the field. But he's moving remarkably well this summer in training camp, with almost no trace of a limp. He's also been seen riding a bike around the SUNY Cortland campus after practices.

Coach Rex Ryan predicted recently that the charismatic, sometimes acerbic Westhoff would emerge as one of the stars on HBO's "Hard Knocks," which is chronicling the Jets' training camp. Ryan jokingly referred to Westhoff as "Old Crusty."

For a quarter-century, Westhoff has been known as a pioneering special teams coach in the NFL. His units are generally ranked among the league leaders.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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