NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Matt Higgins, Jets owner Woody Johnson’s right-hand man, has resigned from his role as the team’s executive vice president of business operations to explore “some entrepreneurial opportunities.”

The 37-year-old Higgins said Tuesday that he spoke to Johnson near the end of the season to tell him he would be moving on after eight years in four different positions with the team. Higgins says it was “completely my decision.” He was a key force behind the Jets building a new stadium and facility, as well as the team’s use of social media.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last eight years,” Higgins said. “In many ways we’ve transformed the franchise. We built a state-of-the-art stadium and an amazing practice facility, and we’ve created a culture of deep fan engagement and transparency, a culture of innovation.

“I think we’ve got some of the best people in all of sports working in this building and I’m honored to have worked with them all these years.”

Bob Parente, the team’s senior vice president of programming and media production, will assume Higgins’ role on an interim basis while the Jets search for his replacement. Parente will be a candidate for the job.

“With more than 30 years of experience, Bob’s a Jets lifer who knows our team inside and out — I think he’s been with the Jets since Matt was 2 years old,” Johnson told his Jets staff, according to the team’s official website. “He’s always somebody we’ve relied on and I have 100 percent confidence in Bob, his judgment and his hard work.”

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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