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Eric Mangini fired as Cleveland Browns coach

January 3, 2011 |  8:18 am

Mangini_300 Eric Mangini has been fired after two seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, the team said in a statement Monday.

Mangini was dismissed during a meeting with team president Mike Holmgren on Monday morning, a day after the Browns finished 5-11 for the second year in a row. He had two years remaining on his contract.

“This decision was not easy for me, and it was one into which I put a great deal of thought,” said Holmgren, who will address the media at 10 a.m. “Although we have made improvements this season, my responsibility is to ensure that we establish a program that will allow this team to compete at a championship level. That will continue to be our goal in everything we do.”

Mangini, 39, is the fourth coach for the Browns since the team returned to the NFL in 1999. During that period Cleveland has gone 64-129 with one playoff appearance.

“The experience coaching the Cleveland Browns the past two years has been tremendous,” Mangini said in a statement. “I appreciate the opportunity that the Lerner family gave me. I have a deep respect for the players that I have coached the past two years and how they have made a profound difference in changing the culture — a tougher, smarter, more competitive, selfless team that never gave up.

“Our goal was to build a team for long-term success. The core characteristics we were dedicated to, I believe, will help achieve that goal, and have provided a strong identity for this football team and have helped to create a positive foundation upon which the organization can continue to build.”

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Eric Mangini. Credit: Amy Sancetta / Associated Press