BEREA — Browns General Manager John Dorsey has the keys to the organization's coaching search.
Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have given Dorsey the authority to lead the franchise's quest for its next full-time head coach, Peter John-Baptiste, the Browns' senior vice president of communications, confirmed Wednesday.
Dorsey will collaborate with ownership to decide who to hire.
After firing Hue Jackson and promoting Gregg Williams from defensive coordinator to interim coach on Oct. 29, the Browns are seeking their ninth full-time head coach since 1999 and their fifth full-time head coach since the Haslams bought the team in 2012.
Whether the new coach will report to Dorsey has yet to be determined. Dorsey and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta report to the Haslams, and Jackson did, too, before his dismissal.
Dorsey's 28-year career in the NFL scouting ranks gives him countless coaching contacts throughout the league and college football. However, he has never hired a head coach or run a search for one. The Kansas City Chiefs had already hired coach Andy Reid before adding Dorsey as their GM in 2013.
Two Chiefs assistants could be on Dorsey's radar as potential candidates: offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and special teams coordinator Dave Toub. Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley and Iowa State's Matt Campbell are college coaches who have been linked to the Browns by media.
The first two coaching searches of the Haslam era were led by former CEO Joe Banner in 2013, when Rob Chudzinski was hired, and in 2014, when Mike Pettine got the job. The Haslams, former head of football operations Sashi Brown and DePodesta collaborated with the search firm Korn Ferry to hire Jackson in 2016.
Dorsey will decide whether the Browns will use a search firm this time around. With Dorsey leading the way, ownership, the GM's right-hand men — assistant general manager Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith — DePodesta and VP of player personnel Andrew Berry will form the Browns' collaborative group as they seek Jackson's successor. But Dorsey is the point man.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.