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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Shurmur seems strong, determined, ready

By Marla Published: January 14, 2011

It may have been somewhat intimidating for new Browns coach Pat Shurmur to be flanked by president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert at his introductory press conference Friday morning.

But during the 45-minute session, Shurmur showed some presence and seemed like a coach who won't allow himself to be overshadowed by Holmgren, who has spent 24 years in the NFL, 17 as a coach.

Asked when he knew he was ready to be a coach, Shurmur, 45, said, "You try to match your training with your ambition. I always somewhat believed when the time was right it would happen. The last two years in St. Louis was what I needed to make the final jump.'' After spending 10 seasons as an assistant in Philadelphia, Shurmur served as the Rams' offensive coordinator in 2009-10.

Earning a Masters in financial administration at Michigan State, Shurmur said he once thought he was going to ''rule the world on Wall Street.'' His wife Jennifer said Pat worked for nine months at IBM in Southfield, Mich., before getting into coaching.

"I got a taste of what coaching was all about and it catapulted me into the profession,'' said the nephew of Fritz Shurmur, Holmgren's defensive coordinator in Green Bay.

Jennifer met Pat at MSU, which she attended on a swimming scholarship. Then Jennifer Collette, she said she still holds the school record for the 400 freestyle relay.

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