Berea, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Browns tabbed Mike Pettine as their new head coach.
He takes over for Rob Chudzinski, who was dumped after a 4-12 mark this season, and becomes the franchise's eighth bench boss since the team returned to the NFL in 1999.
"We are thrilled to announce Mike Pettine as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns," said club owner Jimmy Haslam. "Mike is the epitome of what we want the Browns to be -- tough, aggressive and innovative -- with a blue- collar, team-first mentality. He knows what's necessary to beat teams in the AFC North. Most importantly, Mike has repeatedly shown the ability to lead his players to consistent improvement and success, clearly what we are striving for as he leads the Cleveland Browns moving forward."
Pettine spent the 2013 campaign as defensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills, and prior to that, four years (2009-12) with the New York Jets in the same capacity.
"It was my lifelong dream to be an NFL coach. To compete in the AFC North, you have to bloody your nose a little bit. I believe you fit your system to your players," Pettine said. "There's talent here, and that's evidenced by the number of guys over in Hawaii as we speak."
The 47-year-old University of Virginia product began his coaching career in earnest by leading a pair of suburban Philadelphia high schools, before reaching the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens in 2002. He was promoted to assistant defensive line coach in 2004, then was a linebackers coach from 2005 to '08 for the franchise.