CLEVELAND -- 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 constant losing and maybe resurrect a franchise that has made just one trip to the playoffs in the past 14 years.
A Browns spokesman confirmed Chudzinski's hiring Thursday night and said he will be introduced at a news conference on Friday.
Chudzinski will be the Browns' 14th coach in team history. For the past two years, the 44-year-old has worked with talented Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Chudzinski has had two previous stints with the Browns as an assistant coach. 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. Chudzinski interviewed with the team on Wednesday, and was viewed by many to be a longshot for the job.
However, he wowed owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner during his meeting and the team decided to give him the job after interviewing at least eight other candidates (see full story).
Jaguars fire Mike Mularkey
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The more Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan watched his team play, the more he realized one thing:
"We needed a rebuild from the ground up," Khan said.
So the Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey on Thursday after just one season, the worst in franchise history. The move came 10 days after 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.
"I've always been a part of a winner," said Caldwell, who signed a five-year deal. "I've never been a part of a losing team."
"I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar -- even if he's released," Caldwell said.
Caldwell took slightly more time to decide on Mularkey.
Mularkey, who went 2-14 this season, became the eighth head coach fired since the end of the regular season. He looked like he would be one and done when Khan parted ways with Smith last week and gave Mularkey's assistants permission to seek other jobs. Even though Khan ultimately hired Mularkey, Smith directed the coaching search last January that started and ended with the former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator (see full story).
2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.