The Cleveland Browns hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to be the 14th head coach in franchise history.
The team made the announcement in a press release issued Thursday night, ending a search that included Oregon coach Chip Kelly and former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, among others.
Chudzinski, a Toledo, Ohio, native, spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Panthers. He served as offensive coordinator of the Browns in 2007-08 and had a previous stint with Cleveland in 2004 as tight ends coach. Chudzinski also was an assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 2005-06 and 2009-10.
A report early Thursday indicated Whisenhunt had emerged as a top candidate. Whisenhunt had a second interview with the Browns.
The Browns also interviewed Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator, this week.
Chudzinski is credited with helping convert Cam Newton from a spread offense quarterback at Auburn to a successful NFL quarterback.