Hue Jackson was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.
“He embodies all the qualities that will provide strong leadership for our football team. He is highly experienced, deeply passionate about winning, and relentless in trying to find ways to put his players in the best position to succeed,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said. “He possesses that unique ability to reach the entire locker room in a way that demands accountability while getting the buy-in and team-first mentality that leads to positive results. I think our players will love playing for him.”
Jackson, 50, was offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals the past two seasons and served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2011, when he went 8-8.
“What a tremendous honor and privilege to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and a part of the Dawg Pound,” Jackson said. “I’m so looking forward to it and have so many people to thank. Obviously Jimmy and Dee Haslam for this opportunity, going through the process of meeting Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta. What an exciting time to have an opportunity to work with people like that.”
Jackson backed out of his scheduled interview with the New York Giants when Haslam called him Wednesday morning and offered him the job. Jackson was supposed to fly to New York and meet with the Giants on Thursday morning.
Jackson previously talked to the San Francisco 49ers about their vacancy.
Jackson becomes the Browns’ eighth coach since 1999 and sixth since 2008. He replaces Mike Pettine, who was fired on Jan. 3 after going 10-22 in his two seasons.
The hiring of Jackson likely means the end of Johnny Manziel in Cleveland.
According to an ESPN source close to the situation, the topic of Manziel was discussed at length in meetings between Jackson and Browns ownership. In those discussions, Jackson indicated that he would prefer the organization move on from Manziel if he were to become coach, and he was told that would not be a problem.