Holmgren to join Browns as team president

BY foxsports • December 21, 2009

Mike Holmgren has decided to see if he can fix the Cleveland Browns.

The Super Bowl-winning coach accepted a job to become the club's president on Monday, joining a franchise needing a major makeover after a decade of losing.

Browns owner Randy Lerner said the sides reached an agreement on Monday. Lerner said current president Mike Keenan will transition to the role of chief financial officer.

"We will spend the rest of the week finalizing the details of the agreement and will make a formal announcement next week,'' Lerner said in a statement.

Holmgren is coming to Cleveland strictly in an executive role. On his radio show last week, Holmgren indicated his job offer with the Browns could include a return to the sideline. But Holmgren's duties likely will focus on personnel decisions, and there's a chance he may bring in a general manager to help him.

It's still not known what effect Holmgren's hiring will have on first-year Cleveland coach Eric Mangini, who improved to 3-11 on Sunday following a 41-34 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Mangini may have strengthened his chances of staying for at least another year after leading the Browns to consecutive wins.

Holmgren, though, could choose to replace Mangini with his own coach to try and turn around the Browns, who have lost at least 10 games in six of the past seven seasons and made the AFC playoffs just once since 1999.

On Saturday, the 61-year-old Holmgren turned down a front-office position to return to the Seattle Seahawks, sparking speculation that he was headed to Cleveland.

Holmgren said he was intrigued by the opportunity to join Cleveland because of the absence of "layers'' between him and Lerner, who in November announced he was looking to add a "serious, credible leader'' to his organization. Holmgren spent two days meeting with Lerner last week and came away impressed by the owner's passion to win and what he learned about the Browns.

Holmgren stepped down as the Seahawks coach after last season to spend more time with his family. However, the chance to rebuild another franchise was too much for him to resist and he's stepping out of semi-retirement to take on the Browns, who have desperately needed someone of his renown for years.

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