SUNDERLAND, England — Chris Coleman has taken charge of English second-tier club Sunderland after quitting as Wales coach.

The struggling northeast England team says Coleman signed a 2 1/2-year contract as its ninth manager in six seasons.

Coleman led Wales to the 2016 European Championship semifinals in the country’s first appearance at a tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

Coleman couldn’t build on that feat by leading Wales to the World Cup in Russia next year, falling short in qualifying in the last act of his six-year reign.

The 47-year-old Welshman fills the Sunderland job that has been vacant since Simon Grayson was fired more than two weeks ago.

“The club worked incredibly hard to make sure we were a good fit and to show me the potential that can be achieved here,” Coleman said. “I believe that every person at this football club, every player and every supporter has a part to play in getting us back to where we belong.”

Sunderland, which is bottom of the League Championship with 11 points from 17 games, was relegated from the Premier League in May.