The Reds sacked previous coach Karl Harrison after a poor start to the season saw them anchored to the foot of the engage Super League table, and McRae will be the man entrusted with Salford’s survival.
McRae was excited at this latest chapter in his coaching career, telling reporters at the press conference: “I am delighted to be appointed as head coach of such a prestigious and famous rugby league club.
“The vision for the future, the business acumen of the board and the passion of the fantastic supporters we have here will ultimately provide success for everyone involved.”
McRae, who was strongly linked with the then-vacant Great Britain job earlier this year, was the immediate favourite to take up the reigns at Salford, and today’s appointment confirms the rumours that have been circulating over the past weeks.
In signing a four and a half year deal the former South Sydney Rabbitohs man will have the opportunity to take the club into the era of Super League franchises and into their brand new stadium at Barton.
Speaking of the appointment Chairman, John Wilkinson, OBE commented: “I’d like to welcome Shaun to his new position as head coach at Salford. We feel that with eleven crucial games to play that this is a very important signing for our club.
“We felt we had to make a signing of a person with vast experience and an enviable track record and I am positive everybody will get behind him and we can complete the season on a high note.
“The board have offered a four-and a half year contract because it is our intention to be awarded a franchise in 2009, and we felt a contract of this length shows our commitment to the cause.”
McRae will face a tough job getting his side ready to face Harlequins this Friday, a game which will certainly have been identified as winnable, as the Reds look to put the prospect of relegation behind them.