Skip to main content

Major College Coach Named A Candidate For The Browns Job

A Cleveland Browns helmet sitting on the field.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 11: A Cleveland Browns helmet rests on the field prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Browns 29-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns have a head coach opening. Multiple reports have revealed that the Browns have fired head coach Hue Jackson.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter first reported the news, which has since been confirmed by the NFL Network.

"Hue Jackson had this and next year remaining on his contract. So the Browns will be contractually obligated to him through 2019 season. But Cleveland is now back in the HC market," Schefter reports.

This isn't a surprising move. The Browns have improved slightly this season, but ownership had reportedly been growing frustrated and there was clear tension between the coaching staff.

It's unclear where exactly the Browns will turn when it comes to a head coaching search, but one major college coach is standing out: Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley.

Several Browns fans are hoping for Cleveland to make a strong push for the elite college coach and the NFL has reportedly long been fascinated with his ability.

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said earlier this year that he thought Riley could eventually leave for the NFL.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the NFL, within a few years, knock on his door and try to get him to leave,” Herbstreit told The Dallas Morning News. “He’s as hot as he can be, as not just a head coach what he did with his first year but also as a playcaller. If and when the Cowboys ever need a head coach, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jones group considered him.”

Riley, though, has reportedly said that he doesn't have the "itch" to go to the NFL.

Fox Sports 1 analyst Joel Klatt said during Saturday's broadcast of the Oklahoma game that he asked Riley about the NFL.

“I asked him point blank, ‘Do you have that itch?’ And he said…’No.’ And this is the important part, he said ‘I know we can be great here for a long time.’ And that’s the truth, that’s the absolute truth,” Klatt said.

We'll see if that ends up being true. If the Browns come calling and offer him a ton of money, his answer could change. Stay tuned.