Sunderland announces O'Neill as new manager

Sunderland announced Saturday the hiring of Martin O'Neill as the club's new manager, taking the reigns just three days after Steve Bruce was sacked.

O'Neill signed a three-year contract with Sunderland to make his return to the English Premier League approximately 16 months after quitting as Aston Villa manager. O'Neill led the Villains to three-straight sixth-place finishes before resigning in August 2010.

The 59-year-old has built a strong managerial resume after successful stints at Leicester City, Celtic, and Villa, and will undoubtedly be a popular appointment given his track record.

"It's a very nice feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of Sunderland," O'Neill said. "It's a big moment for me.

"I hope I can help Sunderland to a very successful period. That's what I've come for and that's my driving ambition."

O'Neill will officially take over the first team managerial duties on Monday.

Sunderland returns to Premiership action on Sunday against Wolverhampton and will be led by assistant manager Eric Black.