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Published: Friday, 1/25/2013

Welcome, Coach Chud

Chudzinski Chudzinski

The new head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Rob Chudzinski, has a record of determination, an affable demeanor — and Toledo roots. How can he lose?

The 44-year-old Mr. Chudzinski is a graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School. He was born in Toledo and also spent time growing up in Perrysburg, Bowling Green, and Fremont.

He was not a naturally gifted athlete, yet he became an All-City League standout. When he joined the University of Miami Hurricanes, then one of college football’s powerhouses, he was told he was unlikely to play much. But he became a starter and helped the team win two national championships.

His devotion to the Browns also emerged early. He and his cousins would turn the family television toward a window on football Sundays, so they could go outside and watch the game in the cold, as if they were in the Dawg Pound. He even munched dog biscuits before a Browns playoff game in the late 1980s.

This Browns team is not the franchise he grew up watching. But Mr. Chudzinski — the third NFL coach with roots in the Toledo area, behind Jerry Glanville (1986-1993) and Bob Snyder (1947) — could be just the hard-working throwback the Browns need.

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