Rob Chudzinski’s first head coaching job will be with the team he loved as a kid.
Chudzinski, who spent the past two seasons as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, has been hired by the Cleveland Browns as their sixth full-time coach since 1999.
The Browns are hoping the first-time head coach can end years of despair and losing, and maybe resurrect a franchise that has made just one trip to the playoffs in the last 14 years.
A Browns spokesman confirmed Chudzinski’s hiring Thursday night, and said he will be introduced at a news conference on Friday.
Chudzinski had two stints with the Browns as an assistant. He coached tight ends for Butch Davis in 2004, and then came back to the Browns in 2007 and was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator for two seasons under Romeo Crennel.
Chudzinski grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where he pulled for the Browns. He interviewed with the team on Wednesday, and was viewed by many to be a long shot for the job.
Jaguars fire Mularkey
The Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey after just one season, the worst in franchise history. The move came 10 days after owner Shad Khan fired general manager Gene Smith. Khan also introduced new GM David Caldwell on Thursday, and by parting ways with Mularkey, gave him a clean slate heading into 2013. But maybe the biggest news of the day came when Caldwell said Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, a Jacksonville native, is not in the team’s plans. ‘‘I can’t imagine a scenario in which he’ll be a Jacksonville Jaguar — even if he’s released,’’ Caldwell said . . . Lovie Smith interviewed with the Eagles as the team continued its search to replace Andy Reid. Smith, who is the seventh candidate and second former head coach to meet with the Eagles, was fired after going 81-63 in nine seasons with the Bears . . . Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden interviewed for the Cardinals’ head coaching job, and may interview with the Eagles next week. Although the Cardinals have not confirmed it, Steelers president Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley interviewed for the Arizona job on Wednesday . . . New Bills coach Doug Marrone hired Nathaniel Hackett (offense) and Mike Pettine (defense) as his coordinators . . . The Steelers cut rookie running back Chris Rainey following his arrest on a battery charge in Gainesville, Fla. Police, who charged Rainey with a single count of misdemeanor simple battery after an altercation with his girlfriend, said in a release the two were arguing over Rainey’s cellphone . . . Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway was added to the NFC Pro Bowl team as an injury replacement for the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware (shoulder).